The key difference between electron and beta particle is that electron is essentially negatively charged whereas beta particle can be either +1 charged or -1 charged.
The term elementary particles refer to particles that have no discernible structure. This means these particles cannot be reduced or separated into smaller components. Electrons and quarks are such particles.
What is an Electron?
An electron is an elementary particle that comes under the Lepton family, and it has a negative charge. The charge of this particle is -1. It is a fermionic and first-generation particle that shows activity in gravity, electromagnetic, and weak. We can denote an electron as e-. The antiparticle of an electron is a positron.
The theory about the electron first came into being around 1838-1851 by Richard Laming and Johnstone Stoney. However, the discovery of the electron was made by J.J. Thomson. The mass of an electron can be given as 9.109… x 10-31 kg. The electric charge of this particle can be given as 1.602… x 10-19 C. The electron has a spin of ½.
An electron occurs in an atom as a subatomic particle, and other major subatomic particles are protons and neutrons. Typically, the mass of an electron is about 1836 times smaller than the mass of a proton. When considering the quantum mechanical properties of an electron, it has an intrinsic angular momentum of ½ value, and we can express it in units of reduced Planck constant. No two electrons can occupy the same quantum state because electrons are fermions, which makes this particle behave according to Pauli’s exclusion principle. Moreover, similar to all other elementary particles, electrons can behave both as both a wave and particle. This means electrons can collide with other particles (particle nature) and can be diffracted by light (wave nature).
Generally, electrons play an essential role in different phenomena, including electricity, magnetism, chemistry, and thermal conductivity. Moreover, this particle can participate in gravitational, electromagnetic, and weak interactions. The charge of the electrons makes an electric field around them. In addition, electrons are involved in many different applications, including frictional charging, electrolysis, electrochemistry, battery technology, electronics, welding, cathode-ray tubes, photoelectricity, electron microscope, radiation therapy, laser, etc.
What is a Beta Particle?
A beta particle is a high-energy and high-speed electron or positron that is ejected from the nucleus of some radionuclides during radioactivity decay. The symbol to denote this particle is β. We call this decay beta decay.
A beta particle can occur in two ways as the β – decay and β + decay. These two types produce electrons and positrons, respectively. The energy of a beta particle is about 0.5 MeV. It has a range of meters in the air. This distance depends on the energy of the particle. Typically, beta particles come under ionizing radiation, and it is comparatively more ionizing than gamma rays. However, it is less ionizing than alpha particles. Higher the ionizing effect, lower the power of penetration.
In the comparison between alpha, beta, and gamma rays, beta has a moderate penetrating power and a moderate ionizing power. A beta particle can often be stopped by a few millimeters of aluminum. However, it doesn’t mean that we cannot completely shield beta rays from a sheet. This is because these rays can decelerate in the matter.
What is the Difference Between Electron and Beta Particle?
Electrons and beta particles are important elementary particles. The key difference between an electron and beta particle is that an electron is essentially negatively charged, whereas a beta particle can be either +1 charged or -1 charged.
The following table summarizes the difference between an electron and beta particle.
Summary – Electron vs Beta Particle
There are different types of minute particles in chemistry regarding atoms. Electrons and beta particles are two such types of particles. The key difference between an electron and beta particle is that an electron is essentially negatively charged, whereas a beta particle can be either +1 charged or -1 charged.
1. “Elementary Particles.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.
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