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 ?
On a cellular level, ionizing radiation can strip electrons from the atoms that make up our tissues, producing energetic chemical ions that damage tissue and impose potent genetic stresses.
For the three studies that calculated relative risk, the researchers calculated a pooled RR of BCC after ionizing radiation treatment of 2.
There are lots of defense applications both in peacetime and wartime that require computers that can operate in the presence of ionizing radiation.
Radiation used for cancer treatment is called ionizing radiation because it forms ions in the cells of the tissues it passes through as it dislodges electrons from atoms.
The FDA asked the National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements (NCRP) for advice on radiation protection issues concerning exposure to ionizing radiation from radiation-producing devices used for nonmedical security purposes.
Scientists at Texas A&M University assessed the effect of ionizing radiation on the physicochemical properties and consumer acceptability of specific raw chicken parts: the breast, thigh and skin.
Thus, there is generally no need for ionizing radiation as a treatment for this class of goods and the ingredients from which they are made.
X-radiation is one of many sources of ionizing radiation.
The potential health effects of ionizing radiation have been acknowledged for more than 50 years.
Finally, we acknowledge the generous financial support of the NIST Physics Laboratory and Ionizing Radiation Division, North Carolina State University, the University of Tennessee/Oak Ridge National Laboratory Joint Institute for Neutron Science, Harvard University, the Institut Laue-Langevin, LENS: the Low Energy Neutron Source, Los Alamos National Laboratory, and the Institute of Physics Publishing, Inc.
Ionizing radiation has long been used in workplaces and its use has grown significantly in recent years.