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Ionizing radiation
Ionizing radiation
Ionization is the process whereby an atom or molecule is changed to an ion, by gaining or losing electron(s). This can occur when the molecule absorbs sufficient energy from an external source, e.g. a free electron colliding with the molecule. Types of radiation which carry sufficient energy to ionize atoms include:

• the more energetic parts of the electromagnetic spectrum – ultraviolet, X-rays and gamma rays
• emissions from the nuclei of radioactive materials, including alpha, beta & gamma radiation

Ionising radiation can damage living cells.

A close up of a medieval manuscript showing words in another language. The words make no sense.


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