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Charge on Alpha particle?

  1. Sep 1, 2009 #1
    Just wondering, why does the alpha particle which is basically just a helium atom have a 2+ charge on it when you write it although the electronic configuration of the alpha particle is exactly the same as a helium atom?
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 1, 2009 #2

    Doc Al

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    Staff: Mentor

    An alpha particle is the nucleus of a helium atom without the electrons.
  4. Sep 2, 2009 #3
    oh really? i thought an alpha particle is also a 24He
  5. Sep 2, 2009 #4


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    Homework Helper

    The word "alpha particle" is usually used in relation to nuclear reactions, and nuclear reactions don't involve valence electrons. They're much too far away to matter.
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