# How is gamma decay produced?

Jul 25, 2017

Gamma rays have no charge or mass.

#### Explanation:

Decay of plutonium (239) to uranium (235):

$P u \to U + \alpha + \gamma$

is a reaction that produces both alpha and gamma radiation.

Gamma rays have no charge and mass, being simply a form of electromagnetic radiation travelling as fast as light. As such, they can be thought of either as waves with characteristic wavelengths, or as photon particles. Gamma rays have very shorth wavelengths (from ${10}^{-} 3$ to ${10}^{-} 7 m i c r o m e t e r$) meaning gamma rays are highly energetic and they easily cause biologically damaging ionizations.