Ionizing Radiation

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ionizing radiation

[′ī·ə‚niz·iŋ ‚rād·ē′ā·shən]
Particles or photons that have sufficient energy to produce ionization directly in their passage through a substance. Also known as ionization radiation.
Particles that are capable of nuclear interactions in which sufficient energy is released to produce ionization.

Ionizing Radiation


any radiation whose interaction with a medium ultimately leads to the ionization of atoms and molecules of the medium. Types of ionizing radiation include electromagnetic radiation, X rays, gamma radiation, and laser radiation, as well as fluxes of a-particles, electrons, positrons, protons, neutrons, and other neutral and charged particles. Charged particles ionize the atoms of the medium directly upon collision if their kinetic energy is sufficient for ionization. When neutral particles (neutrons) or photons (quanta of X rays or y-radiation) pass through the medium, ionization is brought about by the secondary charged particles that form from the interaction of the primary particles with the medium.

Ionizing radiation plays an important role in various physical and chemical processes and in biology, medicine, agriculture, and industry. Many chemical reactions take place more readily or at considerably lower temperatures and pressures under the influence of ionizing radiation. Ionizing radiation is used in sterilization, pasteurization, and preservation of foods and pharmaceuticals. It produces various mutations in microorganisms and plants.

At the same time, ionizing radiation exerts a destructive ac-tion on matter. [10–1103-2; updated]

References in periodicals archive ?
Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation and is the first American to be named chairman of the institute since its predecessor, the Atomic Bomb Casualty Commission, transformed itself into RERF in 1975.
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Ionizing radiation is a known risk factor for cancer [United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR) 2006].
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Sources of ionizing radiation, United Nations Scientific Committee on Effects of Atomic Radiation, 1993 Report to United Nations.
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It is also true that the British Government failed to tell the truth about its exposure of our soldiers to atomic radiation in the 1950s.
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A month after the disaster, the head of the United Nations Science Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation, for example, predicted that there would be no serious public health consequences resulting from the radiation.
Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation, said the situation in Fukushima is not as large-scale as the 1986 nuclear crisis in Chernobyl in the former Soviet Union, but is far more serious than the one in 1979 at Three Mile Island in the United Sates.