What is alpha decay made of?

2 Answers
Mar 23, 2016

An alpha particle can be thought of as a helium nucleus, #""_2^4He^(2+)#: two protons and two neutrons, for a total of four nucleons, with no electrons.

Mar 23, 2016

Alpha decay” is the spontaneous fission of an atomic nucleus that releases an “alpha” particle.


There are three main nuclear fission (radioactivity) particles – alpha, beta, and gamma. Alpha particles are really just helium atoms ejected at high velocity. Beta particles are electrons or positrons, and a gamma particle is a high-energy photon.