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Types of Radiation

Notebook #3- Revised
Laura Ramirez
December 7, 2016
RTE 141
Professor Yost

Types of Radiation:

-High- energy electrons,
neutrons, and protons that
produce ionization in matter by
direct atomic collisions.


-Two principal types of
particulate radiation are
associated with radioactive
decay, alpha particles and beta
particles. Alpha particle contains
two protons and two neutrons.
Beta particles are identical to
electrons, with the exception of
their origin.
-Alpha particles emitted from
the nuclei of very heavy
elements as they undergo
radioactive decay. Beta particles
are emitted from the nuclei of
radioactive material.

Where they originate:

Wave theory:

-A form of energy that is the result of
electric and magnetic disturbances in
-Overlapping sine waves, one electric
and one magnetic.
-Velocity-all EM travels at the speed
of light.
-Vary in wavelength.
-Vary in frequency.

-Originates in the atom. E-m radiation
emitted when atoms undergo

-Waves are disturbances in a medium. E-m energy travels as a wave.
Ocean and sound waves are both examples of disturbances of the
mediums of water and air. E-m waves don’t need a medium to travel
through. Lower energy photons act as waves.

properties of x-rays:

-Man made.
-Exist at the speed of light or not at all.
-Have the properties of both matter and energy.
-Highly penetrating—very short wavelengths.
-Cause certain crystals to fluoresce.
-Cause biologic changes.
-Affects photographic film.
- Travels straight lines.
-Cannot be focused by a lens.
-Electrically neutral.
-Diverge from their source.
-X-ray beam is heterogeneous.


-The number of nuclear disintegrations per unit time.
-Property exhibited by certain types of matter of emitting energy and
subatomic particles spontaneously
-The nucleus experiences the intense conflict between the two strongest
forces in nature, it should not be surprising that there are many
nuclear isotopes which are unstable and emit some kind of radiation.
-The most common types of radiation are called alpha, beta,
and gamma radiation, but there are several other varieties of radioactive
-How quickly unstable atoms undergo decay.
-How long stable atoms survive, radioactive decay.
-After two half-lives, there will be one fourth the original sample, after
three half-lives one eight the original sample, and so forth.
-The half-life is independent of the physical state (solid, liquid, gas),
temperature, pressure, the chemical compound in which the nucleus
finds itself, and essentially any other outside influence.


A relationship exists between the frequency, wavelength, and velocity of a wave. The relationship
is expressed by the formula:
velocity= frequency x wavelength, or c=vλ
where c= constant (the speed of light)
v= the frequency
λ= the wavelength
The main properties of waves are:

Amplitude: is the intensity of the wave defined by its maximal height. The height of the wave,
measured in meters.
Wavelength: the distance between adjacent crests, measured in meters.
Period: is the time required to complete one cycle of the wave. The time it takes for one complete
wave to pass a given point, measured in seconds.
Frequency: is the number of waves that passes a particular point in a given time frame, or the
number of cycles per second. It is represented by the Greek nu (v), the initial number. The number
of complete waves that pass a point in one second, measured in inverse seconds, or Hertz (Hz).
Speed: the horizontal speed of a point on a wave as it propagates, measured in meters/ second.