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Definitions and Units of Measure - hdbk-1130-98_ch10198
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Table 1-2 Alpha Particles - hdbk-1130-98_ch10200


DOE-HDBK-1130-98
c.
Ionization should not be confused with radiation. Ions (or ion pairs) produced as a
result of the interaction of radiation with an atom allow the detection of radiation.
7.
Ionizing radiation
Ionizing radiation is energy (particles or rays) emitted from radioactive atoms, and some
devices, that can cause ionization. Examples of devices that emit ionizing radiation are X-ray
machines, accelerators, and fluoroscopes.
a.
It is important to note that exposure to ionizing radiation, without exposure to
radioactive material, will not result in contamination of the worker.
b.
Radiation is a type of energy, and contamination is radioactive material that is
uncontained and in an unwanted place.
8.
Non-ionizing radiation
a.
Electromagnetic radiation that doesn't have enough energy to ioniz e an atom is called
"non-ionizing radiation."
b.
Examples of non-ionizing radiation are radar waves, microwaves, and visible light.
C. The Four Basic Types of Ionizing Radiation
The four basic types of ionizing radiation of concern in the DOE complex are alpha particles, beta
particles, gamma or X rays, and neutrons.
1.
Alpha particles
a.
Physical characteristics
1)
The alpha particle has a large mass and consists of two protons, two neutrons, and
no electrons.
2)
It is a highly charged particle (charge of plus two) that is emitted from the nucleus
of an atom.
3)
The positive charge causes the alpha particle (+) to strip electrons (-) from nearby
atoms as it passes through the material, thus ionizing these atoms.
b.
Range
1)
The alpha particle deposits a large amount of energy in a short distance of travel.
2)
This large energy deposit limits the penetrating ability of the alpha particle to a very
short distance.
3)
Range in air is about 1-2 inches.
6


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