Radiation Meaning

What is Radiation:

Radiation is a phenomenon that consists of the propagation in space of energy, either in subatomic particles or in electromagnetic waves. This propagation can occur both in a vacuum and through a specific medium. The word comes from Latin radiatio which means "glow". In a strict sense, the term means "to release energy".

Electromagnetic waves cover a wide spectrum. Among them we can mention UV rays, X rays and gamma rays. Among the subatomic particles we can mention α particles, β particles and neutrons, among others.

Types of radiation

There are many types of radiation. Among them, we can mention the best known, which are:

Ionizing radiation

Ionizing radiation is used to refer to processes in which the flow of particles is strong enough to ionize molecules, that is, to convert a molecule into different ions or to transform an atom into an ion.

See also Ionization.

Thermal radiation

It refers to that type of electromagnetic radiation emitted by a body due to its temperature. Within this type of radiation, infrared radiation can be mentioned. An example of this are domestic heaters.

Radio radiation

Radio waves are one of the types of electromagnetic radiation characterized by wavelengths whose spectrum is broader than infrared light. These types of waves are created by radio transmitters and also received by radio receivers. Waves are measured in kilohertz (be it a few kHz or thousands of hertz) and terahertz (THz or 1012 hertz).

Ultraviolet radiation

Ultraviolet radiation, also known as UV radiation, refers to a type of electromagnetic radiation that has a wavelength that ranges from 400 nm (4x10−7 m) to 15 nm (1.5x10−8 m). This is the case of sunlight. Ultraviolet radiation is invisible to the human eye.

See also: Nuclear physics.

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