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Beta decay

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Beta decay is a type of radioactive decay in which a beta particle (an electron or a positron) is emitted. In the case of electron emission, it is referred to as "beta minus", in the case of a positron, "beta plus".

In beta minus decay, a neutron is converted to a proton via the weak nuclear force and a beta particle (an electron) and a neutrino are emitted. Beta decay was first studied by Enrico Fermi.

The study of beta decay provided the first physical evidence of the neutrino.

See also: beta particle, particle radiation, radioactive isotope



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