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Electron capture vs internal conversion electrons vs auger electrons

  1. Dec 26, 2011 #1
    what is the differece between internal conversion electrons, electron capture and auger electons? i dont understand. The name suggests electron capture and internal conversion electrons are the same thing... but then when i look it up internal conversion electrons seem to be the same as auger electrons... but im assuming they are three didferent things?
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 26, 2011 #2


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    With Internal Conversion "instead of emitting a gamma-ray, the nucleus de-excites by knocking out one of the atomic electrons with kinetic energy equal to the decay energy. It is usually the K shell electron that is internally converted because it has the greatest wave function overlap with the nucleus. The hole that is left behind will be repopulated by an electron from a higher atomic shell, usually the L shell, and this L to K transition is accompanied by an X-ray."
    Ref: http://www.pma.caltech.edu/~ph77/labs/tabis.pdf [Broken] (see discussion under 137Cs)

    In Electron Capture, a proton in the nucleus actually captures an atomic electron, usually a K electron, whereby the proton is transformed into a neutron, and a neutrino is emitted. The atomic number decreases by 1.

    Auger electrons are actually caused by X-rays, i.e., photons from atomic electron transitions. It's possible that Auger electrons arise from the X-ray associated with Electron Capture.

    FYI - Internal conversion electrons and supernova light curves
    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2017
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