How do alpha particles interact with matter?

1 Answer
May 22, 2014

Electrostatic attraction between the two positively charged of an alpha particle and the single negatively charged of an orbital electrons cause ionizations and excitation events. As the positively charged alpha particle moves through matter, it attracts many orbital electrons leaving a wake of ion pairs. When the speed is slowed enough, the alpha particle will capture electrons to produce elemental helium.