high-energy radiation capable of producing ionization in substances through which it passes
rays of rapidly moving subatomic particles, x-reys, or gamma rays, sufficiently energetic to cause ionization when absorbed by matter. Such radiation is emitted by radioactive elements, or may be generated by highly energetic physical processes, as in stars. When absorbed by living tissue, ionizing radiation can cause mutation, cellular damage, or death.
High-energy radiation that is capable of causing ionization in substances through which it passes; also includes high-energy particles.
Ionizing radiation is radiation composed of particles that individually carry enough kinetic energy to liberate an electron from an atom or molecule, ionizing it. Ionizing radiation is generated through nuclear reactions, either artificial or natural, by very high temperature, via production of high energy particles in particle accelerators, or due to acceleration of charged particles by the electromagnetic fields produced by natural processes, from lightning to supernova explosions. When ionizing radiation is emitted by or absorbed by an atom, it can liberate an atomic particle from the atom. Such an event can alter chemical bonds and produce ions, usually in ion-pairs, that are especially chemically reactive. This greatly magnifies the chemical and biological damage per unit energy of radiation because chemical bonds will be broken in this process. If the atom were inside a crystal lattice in a solid phase, then a "hole" would exist where the original atom was. Ionizing radiation includes cosmic rays, Alpha particles, Beta particles, Gamma rays, X-rays, and in general any charged particle moving at relativistic speeds. Neutrons are considered ionizing radiation at any speed. Ionizing radiation includes some portion of the ultraviolet spectrum, depending on context. Radio waves, microwaves, infrared light, and visible light are normally considered non-ionizing radiation, although very high intensity beams of these radiations can produce sufficient heat to exhibit some similar properties to ionizing radiation, by altering chemical bonds and removing electrons from atoms.
Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms
Particulate (alpha, beta, and neutron) and electromagnetic (X-ray and gamma) radiation of sufficient energy to displace electrons from atoms, producing ions.
The numerical value of ionizing radiation in Chaldean Numerology is: 2
The numerical value of ionizing radiation in Pythagorean Numerology is: 5
Images & Illustrations of ionizing radiation
Translations for ionizing radiation
From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary
Get even more translations for ionizing radiation »
Find a translation for the ionizing radiation definition in other languages:
Select another language:
Discuss these ionizing radiation definitions with the community:
Word of the Day
Would you like us to send you a FREE new word definition delivered to your inbox daily?
Use the citation below to add this definition to your bibliography:
"ionizing radiation." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2018. Web. 20 Apr. 2018. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/ionizing radiation>.