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Nuclear Symbol Chemistry

Nuclear Symbol Chemistry

There are various types of radiations involved in Nuclear chemistry. They have their own representations. Let us look into these radiations and their symbols.

Types of radiations and nuclear symbols


The radioactive radiations are of three types. They were sorted out by Rutherford in 1902, by passing them between two oppositely charged plates. The ones bending towards negative plate carried positive charge and were named as alpha rays. Those bending towards the positive plate and carrying negative charge were called as beta rays. The third type of radiation, being uncharged, passed straight through the electric field and were named gamma rays.

Symbols of these rays

1. Alpha rays

Represented as α. These are positively charged rays. Since the alpha rays have a mass of 4 amu and charge _2, they are actually helium nuclei. So, they are also represented as

4 2He or
4 2 α

2. Beta Rays


Negatively charged rays. They are represented as: β. Since they have a mass similar to electron, they are also represented as e-. They have a unit negative charge.

0-1e or 0-1 β

3. Gamma rays

These rays are neutral, with no charge. They are simply represented by the symbol : γ


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