Radiation Unit Conversions

Radioactivity, radiation exposure, radiation absorbed dose and absorbed dose equivalent units conversions.

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What is Radiation ?

Radiation is a form of energy which comes from a source and travels through medium or space. The biggest source or radiation and also the energy is the sun, but there are other types of radiation sources such as microwave ovens, antennas, nuclear reactors etc.

Radiation is usually classified in two categories, ionizing and non-ionizing radiation. The difference comes from the fact that not every radiation coming from a source has enough energy to remove an electron from a molecule or an atom. This type of radiation is called non-ionizing radiation (Ion is an atom where the number of electrons and the number of protons are different, which means it has a negative or a positive charge). Visible light, radio waves are examples for non-ionizing radiation.

The other type of radiation is the ionizing radiation. In this form of radiation, the radiation source has enough energy to remove en electron from an atom or a molecule, which makes the atom unstable. Although excessive exposure to non-ionizing radiation can be harmful, the ionizing radiation is considered to be far more dangerous to living organisms since these atoms to become more stable emit energy and mass and considered to be radioactive.

The types of ionizing radiation are alpha, beta and gamma. Gamma radiation is high frequency electromagnetic radiation, can go through medium easily unless stopped by a hard material and it is the most dangerous type of radioactivity. Alpha radiation is very short distance, heavy, less harmful to living organisms and can be easily stopped, like with a paper. Beta radiation is short distance, not heavy type of radiation and can be stopped by glass kind of metarials.