The main particles important in nuclear reactions are listed here. These can be released from the nucleus as radiation.
Neutron radiation is indirectly ionizing radiation. They don't directly ionize an atom when they are absorbed but, as a result of neutron collision, atoms frequently emit gamma radiation and that gamma radiation caused ionizion. Neutron radiation is more penetrating than alpha radiation or beta radiation. Neutron radiation causes materials to degrade through crystal dislocations, swelling, and embrittlement of metals.
Alpha radiation consists of helium nuclei. Because of their high mass relative to other particle radiation, alpha particles interact strongly with matter and are typically absorbed by a few centimeters of air. External to the body, alpha radiation is not harmful to humans because it is absorbed by the layer of dead skin cells.
Beta radiation consists of either electrons or positrons. This is ionizing radiation. When these two particals annihilate they form a gamma ray.
Non-particle radiation is released as gamma radiation. These rays have the shortest wavelength and highest energy in the electromagnetic spectrum and cause serious damage when they are absorbed by cells.|
|particle ||charge||weight (amu)|
|alpha (He2+) ||+2||4.00153|