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Radiation

Radiation is a process in which energetic particle or energetic waves travel through vacuum or through matter- containing media. There are two type of radiations: 1-Ionizing radiation . 2-Non-ionizing radiation. Both ionizing and non-ionizing radiation is harmful to organisms and can results in changes to the natural environment, but ionizing radiation is far more harmful to living organisms per unit of energy deposit than non-ionizing radiation. The ions that are produced by ionizing radiation even at low radiation power ,have a potential DNA damage .By contrast, most non-ionizing radiation is harmful to organisms only in proportion to the thermal energy deposit ,and is considered harmless at low power which do not produce significant temperature rise. Utra violet radiation: Occupied a middle ground in having some features of both ionizing and non-ionizing radiation.Although nearly all the ultraviolet spectrum of radiation is non-ionizing radiation , at the same time ultra violet radiation does far more damage to many molecules in biological system than is accounted for by having heat effects (an example is sun burn) , ultra violet can alter

chemical bonds ,even without having quite enough energy to ionize The atoms .The evidence that small amount of some types of ionizing radiations might confer a net health in some situation , is called radiation hormesis. Lets discuss the types of radiation:

1-Ionizing radiation
Radiations with high energy can ionize atoms , most often , this occur when an electron is stripped from an electron shell which leaves the atom with a net positive charge . Because cells and more importantly the DNA can be damaged ,this ionization can result in an increased chance of cancer.The probability of ionizing radiation causing cancer is dependent up on the absorbed dose of radiation and the sensitivity of the organism . Photons and particles with energies above 10 (ev) are ionizing radiation , Alpha particles , Beta particles , Gamma rays and xray radiation all carry enough energy to ionize atom . Free neutron are also ionizing radiation . Ionizing radiation comes from radio- active materials , x-ray tubes , particle accelerators , and is present in the environment . It is invisible and directly detectable by human senses , so instruments such as Geiger Counter are usually required to detect its presence . In some cases it may lead to secondary emission of visible light upon interaction with matter , as in Cherenkov radiation and radioluminescence.

Exposure to radiation causes damage to living tissues resulting in skin burns , radiation thickness and death to high doses and cancer ,tumors and genetic damage at low doses.

Alpha particles:
Alpha particles are helium-4 nuclei two protons and two neutrons. They interact with matter very heavily and can penetrate a few centimeters of air or few millimeters of low density materials such as Thin mica material.Alpha radiation is dangerous when alpha-emitting radioisotopes are ingested (breathed or swallowed) this brings the radioisotope close enough to tissue for the alpha radiation to damage cell. Examples of highly poisonous alpha-emitters are Radium , Radon , Polonium.

Beta decay:
Beta-minus radiation consists of an energetic electron ,it is more ionizing than alpha particle but less than gamma. It occurs when neutron decays into a proton in a nucleus releasing the beta particle and an antineutrino. Beta-plus radiation is the emission of positrons ,when a positron slow down to a speed similar to those of electrons in the material , the positrons will annihilate an electron releasing two gamma photons in the process.

neutron :
neutrons do not ionize atoms in the same way that charged particles such as protons and electrons do (exciting an electron)

because neutrons have no charge ,however both slow and fast neutrons react with the atomic nuclei of many elements upon collision with those nuclei creating unstable isotopes and inducing radioactivity in a previously non-radioactive material this is called neutron activation.

x-ray:
They are electromagnetic waves ,wave length smaller than 10 nanometer . When x-ray photon collides with an atom , the atom absorb the energy of the photon and boost an electron to a higher orbital level . Larger atoms is more likely to absorb an xray photon since larger atoms have greater energy difference between orbital electrons.

Gamma ray:
Consists of photons they have neither mass nor electric charge .It can penetrate much further through matter than either alpha or beta radiation.

2-Non-ionizing radiation
Non ionizing radiation is capable of causing thermal ionization if it deposits enough heat to raise temperature to ionization energies .

Electro magneticradiation :
This include radiowaves ,microwaves ,infrared. Visiblelight; is a very narrow range of electromagnetic radiation that is visible to human eye 400-700.

Infrared radiation; with wave length between 0.7-300 micrometer.IR are longer than that of visible light. Microwave ; they are electromagnetic waves with wave length ranging from as long as one meter to as short as one millimeter. Radio waves; types of electromagnetic radiation with wave length longer than that of IR ; like all the electromagnetic waves they travel at the speed of light. Radio waves divided into ; 1-very low frequency radio waves VLF At frequency from 3-30KHZ 2-Extremely low frequency ELF At frequency from 3-30HZ

Thermal radiation ; As sun light ,even low frequency thermal


radiation may cause temperature ionization when ever it deposits sufficient thermal energy to raises temperature to a high energy level.

Black body radiation ; A black body emits electromagnetic


radiation over the entire spectrum from very low frequency radio waves to x-ray.