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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Detector

A general term applied to parts of instruments which are designed to detect Ionising Radiation. Ionising radiations interact with the detector, the detector converts this interaction into a signal which can be amplified and interpreted by other devices. Detectors can be Passive Detectors (which require a subsequent process, e.g. chemical etching, to determine useful information), and Active Detectors (which enable real time information to be obtained, e.g. EPD).

The definition of 'safe' is not strictly an engineering term; it's a societal term. Does it mean absolutely no loss of life? Does it mean absolutely no contamination with radiation? What exactly does 'safe' mean?

– Henry Petroski