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Beta particle interaction with matter

  1. Jan 16, 2014 #1
    A beta particle consists of a fast moving electron emitted from the nucleus of an atom. Beta particles can pass through the palm of a human hand.

    My question is .. Being a particle how can it pass through the palm of a hand? I still haven't done quantum Physics but I suspect that it has something to do with it.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 16, 2014 #2
    What would prevent a beta particle from passing through the palm of a hand?
     
  4. Jan 16, 2014 #3
    my reasoning is that waves can make it through somehow ... but particles are stopped after colliding with other particles.
     
  5. Jan 16, 2014 #4

    HallsofIvy

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    Your hand is made of molecules that are made of atoms. And atoms are very small nuclei with a sparse cloud of electrons around it. Almost all of an atom, and so almost all of your hand is empty space.
     
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