Radiation Protection Glossary
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A positively charged particle consisting of two Neutrons
and two protons which is emitted from Atoms
undergoing Alpha Decay
. The range of the alpha particle is short (a few cm's in air) and they are easily shielded (stopped by a single sheet of paper). They only present a significant hazard where they enter the body - even the most energetic alpha particles are not able to penetrate the dead outer layers of skin.