electron capture(redirected from Electron capture decay)
Also found in: Medical, Encyclopedia.
1. (Nuclear Physics) 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 element. Former name: K-capture
2. (General Physics) the spontaneous or induced recombination of free electrons with ions or by transfer from other atoms or ions