from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A positively charged particle, indistinguishable from a helium atom nucleus and consisting of two protons and two neutrons.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A positively charged nucleus of a helium-4 atom (consisting of two protons and two neutrons), emitted as a consequence of radioactivity; α-particle
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- a particle emitted at high velocity from certain radioactive substances. It is identical to the helium nucleus, consisting of two protons and two neutrons. Rays of such particles are called alpha rays.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. a positively charged particle that is the nucleus of the helium atom; emitted from natural or radioactive isotopes
Sorry, no etymologies found.
For example, when an atom of the metal radium expels an alpha particle two protons and two neutrons, it undergoes a metamorphosis, changing from a metal to a gas known as radon.