An alpha particle has two protons and two neutrons.
An alpha particle has two protons and two neutrons and is a very stable configuration of particles. In alpha decay, the atomic number changes, so the original (or parent) atoms and the decay-product (or daughter) atoms are different elements and therefore have different chemical properties.
- α Particles have a positive charge and are identical to helium nuclei.
- Alpha particles have a minimal ability to penetrate other materials.
- Alpha particles are relatively slow and heavy compared with other forms of nuclear radiation.
- Alpha-particle emitters are particularly dangerous if inhaled, ingested, or if they enter a wound.