Gamma rays can travel through your body but not through lead.
That is why if you ever had an x-ray of your teeth, your dentist first laid a heavy lead apron over your chest, so the gamma rays only penetrated your cheek and not the rest of your body.
If we have a parent nucleus where the neutron-to-proton ratio is too great, then that parent might be feeling unstable about its circumstance and want to move to a more stable state through beta decay.
Beta decay is a type of radioactive decay where a beta particle is emitted.
We call the unstable nuclide that undergoes radioactive decay the parent nuclide and the nuclide that results from the radioactive decay the daughter nuclide.
This is a fairly easy concept to remember because it is as if the original nuclide is giving birth to the new nuclide, much like a human parent and daughter relationship.
In fact, you might like this term better, because the dating method relies on the known decay rate of radioactive isotopes.
It's as if the nucleus is feeling too full of energy and it has to get rid of some, much like a hyperactive child who is so full of energy that he cannot stay seated in his chair.This transformation into a different nuclide can be accomplished in different ways.Alpha decay is a type of radioactive decay where an alpha particle is emitted.So let's zoom into this nucleus and take a look at the beta decay process.Inside this nucleus, we see protons and neutrons, but let's say one of these neutrons is feeling as if things would be more stable if it could turn into a proton.When we talk about an alpha particle, we use the first letter of the Greek alphabet, which is here.So let's zoom into a nucleus and take a look at this alpha decay process.A beta particle is shown with the Greek letter beta and is an electron that is emitted from the nucleus.Now, this might sound a bit odd to you, because you do not typically think about electrons being inside of a nucleus.As a member, you'll also get unlimited access to over 70,000 lessons in math, English, science, history, and more.Plus, get practice tests, quizzes, and personalized coaching to help you succeed. So we have to rely on something called radiometric dating to figure out the age of rock.