In particular, I'm curious about what happens to beta particles once they lose most of their kinetic energy. As I understand, they'll eventually find their way into orbits of surrounding atoms, but how exactly does it happen and what are the prerequisites for it to happen? Should an electron's energy just fall below certain threshold? And what determines the value of that threshold?
Also, am I right to understand that in order to be caught, an electron's energy must be larger than the energy of the orbit it's about to occupy - otherwise it won't be caught. If so, what happens to electrons that were slowed down so much that they don't have enough energy to occupy any orbit in vicinity? Do they just stay in free state indefinitely?
P.S. Also, how is this process called properly? Is it... electron reincorporation? Or what?