Question Video: Understanding the Properties of Different Types of Radiation Physics

Which of the following types of radiation have no electric charge? [A] Gamma radiation [B] Alpha radiation [C] Beta radiation [D] Free neutrons


Video Transcript

Which of the following types of radiation have no electric charge? a) Gamma radiation, b) alpha radiation, c) beta radiation, d) free neutrons.

To figure out which of these types of radiation have no electric charge, let’s go through the list top to bottom and see what each type actually is, first, starting with gamma radiation. Gamma radiation consists of photons, high energy electromagnetic radiation. This radiation has no mass and also no electric charge. No protons or electrons are part of gamma radiation. So right off the bat, we found a type of radiation that has no electric charge. Let’s move on to option b, alpha radiation.

We know that alpha radiation is the radiation of an alpha particle. This particle consists of two neutrons and two protons. Another name for an alpha particle is the nucleus of a helium atom. Now, since this nucleus or this alpha particle has two protons to it, that means it has a net electric charge. Since our question asks for radiation types that have no electric charge, this won’t be an option we’ll choose. Then, moving on to beta radiation.

There are two types of beta radiation. One involves the emission of an electron. One involves the emission of an electron as a beta particle, symbolised 𝛽⁻. And the other involves the emission of what’s called a positron. This is symbolised 𝛽⁺. A positron is like an electron. But it has the opposite electric charge, positive instead of negative. But since both types of beta radiation have a net electric charge, we won’t use option c for our answer either.

Finally, we consider the radiation of free neutrons. And this is just what it sounds like, neutrons uncharged particles being emitted from atomic nuclei. Since a neutron has no electric charge, this type of radiation does fit our condition.

Free neutrons as well as gamma radiation are types of radiation that have no electric charge.

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