How can an alpha particle/beta particle/gamma rays interacting with a neutral atom lead to an anion forming? Because i can see how they cause loss of electrons leading to cations forming, but how can anions form? cheers

  • $\begingroup$ When high energy particles rip through matter a great portion of the interaction is with electrons. The electrons which are ionized from atoms just don't vanish. So for every cation of some sort that is created there is an anion of some sort created. $\endgroup$ – MaxW Mar 26 '16 at 17:46

If all you have is an atom and an alpha particle whizzing by to kick an electron out of the atom then yes. But how often do you see an atom sitting out on it's own?

If everything happens as before except that now there are other atoms around, when that electron is knocked loose of the first atom, it will likely come to rest in some other atom thereby creating an anion.

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