# What is beta decay?

May 11, 2018

It is a type of nuclear decay of course.

#### Explanation:

Beta-decay is a type of decay that releases beta particles. There are two types of beta-decay, hence two types of beta particles. The basic one without involving antimatter is beta-minus decay.

During beta-minus decay, an atom converts one of its neutrons into a proton, while releasing an antineutrino $\left(\overline{v}\right)$ and a beta-minus particle, or an electron $\left({e}^{-}\right)$.

The general equation is:

${\text{_Z^YX->""_(Z+1)^YX+}}_{- 1}^{0} {e}^{-}$

The other type is beta-plus decay, and involves antimatter. During beta-plus decay, an atom converts one of its protons into a neutron, while releasing a neutrino $\left(v\right)$ and a positron $\left({e}^{+}\right)$ in the process.

The equation is then:

${\text{_Z^YX->""_(Z-1)^YX+}}_{1}^{0} {e}^{+}$