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electron capture

noun physics
  1. the transformation of an atomic nucleus in which an electron from the atom is spontaneously absorbed into the nucleus. A proton is changed into a neutron, thereby reducing the atomic number by 1. A neutrino is emitted. The process may be detected by the consequent emission of the characteristic X-rays of the resultant elementFormer name: K-capture
  2. the spontaneous or induced recombination of free electrons with ions or by transfer from other atoms or ions
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Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012