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Radiations and their uses

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1 M.Shoaib MPHY01191034 Msc 4 (Morning) Subject: INTRODUCTION OF MEDICAL PHYSICS Topic: Radiation Type, Interaction of ionizing radiation with matter, types of interaction of photons with matter Radiation: In physics, radiation is the emission or transmission of energy in the form of waves or particles through space or through a material medium. This includes: electromagnetic radiation, such as radio waves, microwaves, infrared, gamma radiation (γ) 1 visible light, ultraviolet, x-rays, and 2 There are four major types of radiation: alpha, beta, neutrons, and electromagnetic waves such as gamma rays ALPHA RADIATION: Alpha radiation occurs when an atom undergoes radioactive decay, giving off a particle (called an alpha particle) consisting of two protons and two neutrons (essentially the nucleus of a helium-4 atom), changing the originating atom to one of an element with an atomic number 2 less and atomic weight 4 less than it started with. Due to their charge and mass, alpha particles interact strongly with matter, and only travel a few centimeters in air. Alpha particles are unable to penetrate the outer layer of dead skin cells, but are capable, if an alpha emitting substance is ingested in food or air, of causing serious cell damage. Alexander Litvinenko is a famous example. He was poisoned by polonium-210, an alpha emitter, in his tea. 2 3 BETA RADIATION: Beta radiation takes the form of either an electron or a positron (a particle with the size and mass ...
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