Radiation Protection Glossary

A radiation protection glossary for Radiation Protection Supervisors (RPS) and anyone interesting in radiation safety terminology. The glossary is a mixture of health physics terms, and phrases related to radiation legislation, transport, practical safety and similar.

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Alpha Particle

A positively charged particle consisting of two Neutrons and two protons which is emitted from Atoms undergoing Alpha Decay. The range of the alpha particle is short (< 1cm in air) and they are easily shielded (stopped by a single sheet of paper). They only present a significant hazard where they enter the body - even the most energetic alpha particles are not able to penetrate the dead outer layers of skin.

In the beginning, there was nothing, which exploded

– Terry Pratchett