What happens to the positron after positron emission (beta plus decay)?

1 Answer
Jun 4, 2017

The positron collides with an electron and is converted into energy.


Positron emission is a type of radioactive decay in which a proton inside a radioactive nucleus is converted into a neutron while releasing a positron and an electron neutrino (#ν_text(e)#).

For example,

#""_9^18"F" → color(white)(l)_8^18"O" + color(white)(l)_1^0"e" + ν_text(e)#

In water, the positron will travel about 2.4 mm before it hits an electron.

An electron is the antimatter counterpart of a positron.

When the two particles collide, they immediately destroy each other.

They are converted into two high-energy gamma rays moving directly away from each other.

#""_text(1)^0"e" + ""_text(-1)^0"e" → ""_text(0)^0γ + ""_text(0)^0γ#