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AP® Environmental Science

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Three Main Types of Radioactive Particles

APES-EAZL4Y

How do the three main types of nuclear particles differ from one another?

A

Alpha particles cannot penetrate the skin, beta particles can be blocked by aluminum, and gamma rays require materials like lead to adequately block radiation exposure.

B

Alpha particles emit high energy waves and lead must be used to block them. Beta particles and gamma rays are the least penetrating and can be blocked by skin.

C

Both alpha and beta particles lack the energy to penetrate skin while gamma rays can only be blocked by lead.

D

Luckily, none of the three main types of particles - alpha, beta, or gamma - can penetrate skin so the only risk of radiation exposure comes from them being swallowed.

E

Gamma rays cannot penetrate the skin, alpha particles can be blocked by aluminum, and beta particles require materials like lead to adequately block radiation exposure.