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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Ionising Radiation

Ionising radiation can be described in a number of ways - the simplest being that it consists of Gamma Rays, X-rays, Alpha & Beta particles and other heavy Ions which have sufficient energy to cause ionisation in materials through which they interact . A less useful (but correct) definition can be found in the Ionising Radiations Regulations 2017 which states 'means transfer of energy in the form of particles or electromagnetic waves of a wavelength of 100 nanometers or less or a frequency of 3 E15 hertz or more capable of producing ions directly or indirectly'.

Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one

– Albert Einstein