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27 Jun

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.

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Beta decay is a type of radioactive decay where a beta particle is emitted.In fact, you might like this term better, because the dating method relies on the known decay rate of radioactive isotopes.Regardless of which name you prefer, the discovery was a true breakthrough that provided a tool to predict the geological history of the Earth and even the age of the Earth itself.We know that elements can exist as isotopes, which means that their atomic nuclei contain the same number of protons but different numbers of neutrons.Specially defined isotopes, called nuclides, can be unstable and therefore undergo radioactive decay.