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Ionizing Radiation

Ionizing radiation is a form of energy that is capable of ionizing atoms and molecules, which means that it has enough energy to remove electrons from atoms, leaving them electrically charged. There are three main types of ionizing radiation: gamma radiation (γ), beta radiation (β) and X-rays.

Gamma Radiation (γ):

Gamma radiation is a form of hi...

Ionizing radiation is a form of energy that is capable of ionizing atoms and molecules, which means that it has enough energy to remove electrons from atoms, leaving them electrically charged. There are three main types of ionizing radiation: gamma radiation (γ), beta radiation (β) and X-rays.

Gamma Radiation (γ):

Gamma radiation is a form of high-energy electromagnetic radiation. Gamma (y) radiation is emitted by atomic nuclei during nuclear transition processes, such as radioactive decay.
Gamma waves have no mass or electrical charge. And due to their high energy, gamma waves have the ability to penetrate deeply into materials, requiring significant thicknesses of concrete, lead or other high density materials to stop them.
Gamma waves are used in several applications, including medicine (such as radiotherapy for cancer treatment), sterilization of materials, detection of flaws in materials, among others.

Beta (β) radiation:

Beta radiation (β) consists of electrons (β-) or positrons (β+), which are emitted by unstable nuclei during radioactive decay processes. Beta electrons are lighter than Gamma rays and, therefore, are less penetrating and can be blocked by materials such as metal plates or even clothing.

Positrons are the antiparticle of electrons, and when they meet frequent electrons, they annihilate each other, releasing energy in the form of Gamma radiation. Beta radiation is often used in medicine, in applications such as cancer treatment and diagnostic imaging (such as positron emission tomography - PET scan).

X ray:

X-rays are a form of high-energy electromagnetic radiation, with wavelengths shorter than visible light. They are produced when high-energy electrons are abruptly slowed down or when electronic transitions occur in atoms.
X-rays have greater penetrating strength than Beta radiation, but less than Gamma radiation. X-rays are widely used in medicine for diagnostic imaging, such as radiographs, fluoroscopy and computed tomography (CT scan), as well as in other areas such as airport security inspection, industrial quality control and in scientific research.
In summary, these three types of ionizing radiation have different characteristics and applications, but they all present potential health risks and must be used with care and appropriate precautions.

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