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Last updated date: 23rd Apr 2024
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Introduction to Radiation

In subjects like physics the topic radiation is the emission or transmission of energy in the form of waves or particles through space or a material medium. This includes:

  • The electromagnetic radiation, waves of radio, microwaves, infrared rays, visible light, ultraviolet rays, X-rays and gamma radiation i.e., γ.

  • The particle radiation such as alpha radiation (α), beta radiation (denoted by β), proton radiation and neutron radiation

  • The acoustic radiation  such as ultrasound and seismic waves  that is said to be dependent on a physical transmission medium

  • The gravitational radiation that takes the form of gravitational waves or the ripples in the curvature of spacetime.

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Radiation Definition

The term radiation is often said to be categorized as either ionizing or non-ionizing depending on the energy of the radiated particles. Ionizing radiation generally carries more than 10 eV which is enough to ionize the atoms and molecules and break chemical bonds. This is said to be a very important distinction which is due to the large difference in harmfulness to living organisms. Here a common source which is of ionizing radiation that is said to be radioactive materials that emit by symbols that are α, β, or γ radiation which consist of helium nuclei that is we can say that the electrons or the positrons and photons respectively. The other sources which generally include X-rays which is from medical radiography examinations and muons and the mesons, positrons, neutrons and other particles as well constitute the secondary cosmic rays that are produced after primary cosmic rays interact with the planet's earth's atmosphere.

So further down the spectrum which is said to be the non-ionizing lower energies of the lower ultraviolet spectrum that generally cannot ionize atoms.

But we can disrupt the interatomic bonds which form molecules thereby thereby breaking down molecules which are rather than atoms a good example which is sunburn which is generally caused by long-wavelength solar ultraviolet. The waves which are said to be  of longer wavelength than the lights which are the UV in visible light so the infrared and microwave frequencies which generally cannot break bonds but can cause vibrations which are in the bonds which are sensed as heat. So the radio wavelengths are generally not regarded as harmful to biological systems. So these are not sharp and delineations of the energies that we can say that there is some overlap in the effects of specific frequencies.

What is Radiation in Science

The word which is known as radiation which generally arises from the phenomenon of waves radiating that is traveling outward in all directions which is  from a source. This aspect usually leads to a system of measurements and physical units that are applicable to all types of radiation.  Like the law of any ideal gas law there is the inverse-square law that approximates a measured radiation intensity to the extent that the source which generally approximates a geometric point.

The term which is radiation with sufficiently high energy that can ionize atoms, that is to say it can knock electrons off atoms which are creating ions. The process of ionization occurs when an electron is stripped or we can say that when it is "knocked out" that too from an electron shell of the atom. 

This is said to be because of living cells and more importantly we can say that the DNA in those cells can be damaged by this ionization so the exposure which is to ionizing radiation is considered which is to increase the risk of cancer. Thus the process of "ionizing radiation" is somewhat artificially separated from particle radiation and electromagnetic radiation that is said to be simply due to its great potential for biological damage. While an individual cell is made of trillions of atoms only a small fraction of those will be ionized at low to moderate radiation powers. The probability of ionizing radiation that is generally causing the disease which is cancer is dependent upon the absorbed dose of the radiation.  It is a function of the damaging tendency which is of the type of radiation that is equivalent to dose and the sensitivity of the irradiated organism or tissue (effective dose).

What is Meant by Radiation

The exposure which is to the radiation that generally causes damage to living tissue that is high doses result in Acute radiation syndrome that is written as ARS with skin burns and then the hair loss that is the internal organ failure and death.

so while any dose may result in an increased chance of cancer and genetic damage and then a particular form of disease cancer thyroid that is cancer that it often occurs when nuclear weapons and reactors are the radiation source which is because of the biological proclivities of the radioactive iodine fission product which is known as iodine-131. However it is calculating the exact risk and chance of the disease which is cancer that is forming in cells caused by ionizing radiation is said to be still not well understood and currently estimates are loosely which is determined by population that is based data from the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and from follow-up of reactor accidents that is such as the Chernobyl disaster. 

FAQs on Radiation

1. What do you mean by radiation?

The term radiation is said to be the energy that comes from a source and travels through space at the speed of light. This energy which we are talking about has an electric field and a magnetic field associated with it and has wave-like properties. We could also call these radiations as  “electromagnetic waves”.

2. Explain what is radiation and its effects?

Exposure to very high levels of radiation such as being close to an atomic blast can cause acute health effects such as skin burns and acute radiation syndrome also known as the “radiation sickness". It can also result in long-term health effects like cancer and cardiovascular disease.

3. Explain what radiation makes you sick?

Symptoms like nausea and vomiting can occur after radiation therapy to the stomach, small intestine, colon or the parts of the brain. Our risk for nausea and vomiting usually depends on how much radiation we are getting and how much of our body is exposed to that radiation.

4. Explain what is the most powerful type of radiation?

The gamma rays are said to be the strongest form of radiation. This form of radiation is what makes nuclear radiation so dangerous. So we can say that this high energy generally forms radiation that can damage human tissue and cause mutations.

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