nuclear radiation

Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Wikipedia.

Nuclear radiation

All particles and radiations emanating from an atomic nucleus due to radioactive decay and nuclear reactions. Thus the criterion for nuclear radiations is that a nuclear process is involved in their production. The term was originally used to denote the ionizing radiations observed from naturally occurring radioactive materials. These radiations were alpha rays (energetic helium nuclei), beta rays (negative electrons), and gamma rays (electromagnetic radiation with wavelength much shorter than visible light). See Alpha particles, Beta particles, Gamma rays

Nuclear radiations have traditionally been considered to be of three types based on the manner in which they interact with matter as they pass through it. These are the charged heavy particles with masses comparable to that of the nuclear mass (for example, protons, alpha particles, and heavier nuclei), electrons (both negatively and positively charged), and electromagnetic radiation. For all of these, the interactions with matter are considered to be primarily electromagnetic. The behavior of mesons and other particles is intermediate between that of the electron and heavy charged particles.

A striking difference in the absorption of the three types of radiations is that only heavy charged particles have a range. That is, a monoenergetic beam of heavy charged particles, in passing through a certain amount of matter, will lose energy without changing the number of particles in the beam. Ultimately, they will be stopped after crossing practically the same thickness of absorber. For electromagnetic radiation (gamma rays) and neutrons, on the other hand, the absorption is exponential. The difference in behavior reflects the fact that charged particles are not removed from the beam by individual interactions, whereas gamma radiation photons (and neutrons) are removed. Electrons exhibit a more complex behavior. See Electron, Nuclear reaction

nuclear radiation

[′nü·klē·ər ‚rād·ē′ā·shən]
(nuclear physics)
A term used to denote alpha particles, neutrons, electrons, photons, and other particles which emanate from the atomic nucleus as a result of radioactive decay and nuclear reactions.
References in periodicals archive ?
A crude 1kt terrorist weapon would produce lethal initial nuclear radiation out to 800m from ground zero, although its lethal blast effect would extend only to 450m.
A report by the Geneva-based Euro-Arab Environment Organization published recently warned that the GCC states could be the first victims of any nuclear radiation from the Iranian plant.
According to Chinese press reports, the Chinese government has decided to slow development of nuclear power in response to the recent nuclear radiation problem in Japan, and, instead, will build more solar power plants nationwide as part of its 12th Five- Year Development Plan to accelerate replacement for nuclear power.
17 ( Petra ) Jordan and Turkey signed on Thursday a cooperation agreement for developing peaceful utilization of atomic energy and ensuring the safety of nuclear radiation.
Jihad, on his part, had quoted Minister Shahrestani as saying that Iraq would exert efforts to activate the peaceful aspect of the nuclear energy in the field of nuclear radiation, in medicine, agriculture, industry and other fields.
The third theme includes the scientific research in the field of crisis management (floods, earthquakes, nuclear radiation and global warming).
Research into how people perceive and respond to risk has identified several psychological characteristics that make nuclear radiation particularly frightening:
Symposium on Nuclear Radiation Detection Materials (2009: San Francisco) Ed.
John Taylor claims he was treated like a guinea pig during the 1950s when he was exposed to nuclear radiation during atom bomb tests in Australia.
One of the main differences between nuclear and other power stations is the presence of nuclear radiation.
At the time of writing many, perhaps hundreds, of Canadian Forces members who took part in Cold War atomic weapon testing are still awaiting promised compensation for disabilities and other ailments associated with nuclear radiation.
He said: "When I was diagnosed I thought there was a possibility it was a result of nuclear radiation that I had been exposed to in the 1950s.

Full browser ?