Environmental radioactivity
Überwachung der Umweltradioaktivität (IMIS)
Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban
Defence against nuclear hazards
Medical Use of Radiation
Consumer Goods, Industry, Technology
Radiation Effects
Occupational Radiation Protection
BfS Papers on the Topic
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) Ionising Radiation

Ionising Radiation

historical X-ray picture year 1896 www.roentgen-museum.de / nuclear explosion on October 31, 1952Ionising Radiation

Ionising radiation includes both electromagnetic radiation – such as X-rays and gamma radiation – and particle radiation – such as alpha, beta and neutron radiation. Its main feature is that it has enough energy to ionise atoms and molecules, i. e. to generate positively and negatively charged particles from electrically neutral atoms and molecules. When going through matter – e. g. through a cell or an organism – ionising radiation gives off energy. If this energy is high enough serious radiation damages can occur.

Ionising radiation is both part of nature and the result of human activities.Natural radioactive substances exist in man and in the soils and rocks of the earth´s crust. In the medical field, in research, technology and through using nuclear energy radioactive substances are used purposefully and generated artificially.


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