1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Why does an alpha particle have 40mm range in air?

  1. Jul 2, 2015 #1
    Hey everyone...

    so I understand that an alpha particle, being a helium nucleus, is quite a large particle compared to, for example, a beta particle. Due to this, it will encounter a lot more collisions and impart its momentum to other particles of air at a much more rapid rate.

    Is there anything I'm missing here at a simple level? perhaps any equations that this is due to?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 2, 2015 #2

    davenn

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    very simply ....

    the alpha particle will easily take a couple of stray electrons and become a stable Helium atom and thereby ceasing to exist as a radiating particle


    Dave
     
  4. Jul 2, 2015 #3

    Lok

    User Avatar

    First a wiki:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alpha_particle#Energy_and_absorption

    From there to note that, the alpha particles are slow in comparison to beta and neutrons speeds. Also the charge is double. And only by these two you would get a lot more interaction with other charged particles on it's path.
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook




Similar Discussions: Why does an alpha particle have 40mm range in air?
  1. Why does hot air rise? (Replies: 66)

Loading...