Beta Decay

Nuclear decays which proceed via the weak interaction are beta (β) decays. These include all nuclear decays in which the atomic mass (A) remains constant and the atomic number, Z, changes by one unit. Examples of β decay processes include:

The most elementary β decay process is free neutron decay:

“Beta” originally referred to electrons, but β decays can involve electrons or positrons, and either electron neutrinos or anti-neutrinos.


Some or all content above used with permission from J. H. Wittke.