alpha particle n.
A positively charged nuclear particle, indistinguishable from a helium atom nucleus and consisting of two protons and two neutrons.
|alpha particle |
A positively charged particle that consists of two protons and two neutrons bound together. It is emitted by an atomic nucleus undergoing radioactive decay and is identical to the nucleus of a helium atom. Because of their relatively large mass, alpha particles are the slowest and least penetrating forms of nuclear radiation. They can be stopped by a piece of paper. See more at radioactive decay.