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Notebook #3

Radiation

Electromagnetic spectrum

Longest wavelength,
lowest frequency,
lowest energy

Type
Radio
Microwave
Infrared
Visible light
Ultraviolet

Shortest wavelength,
highest frequency,
highest energy

Particulate radiation
Term
Amplitude
Electromagnetic
energy
Electromagnetic
radiation
Electromagnetic
spectrum
Frequency
Lambda ()
Nu ()
Photon
Quantum
Radiation
Wavelength

Wave theory
X-ray properties

X-ray

Gamma
Alpha & Beta

Description

Form of electromagnetic radiation used in MRI; behaves more like a wave


than a particle; does not ionize matter

Form of electromagnetic radiation used in cell phones and microwave ovens;


behaves more like a wave than a particle; does not ionize matter
Form of electromagnetic radiation used in electronic devices for
communication; behaves more like a wave than a particle; does not ionize
matter
Form of electromagnetic radiation detected by human eye; behaves more
like a wave than a particle; does not ionize matter
Form of electromagnetic radiation that causes skin to tan; behaves more like
a wave than a particle; does not ionize matter
Form of electromagnetic radiation used in radiography; behaves more like a
particle than a wave; ionizes matter; originates in an x-ray tube (man-made)
Form of electromagnetic radiation found in nature; behaves more like a
particle than a wave; ionizes matter; originates from nucleus of radioactive
material (natural)
Particulate radiation used in nuclear medicine and radiation therapy;
originates from nucleus of radioactive material due to unstable nucleus

Definition
Intensity of wave defined by its maximal height
Form of energy that is result of electric and magnetic disturbances in space
Natural part of environment that spans a continuum of wide ranges of magnitudes of energy; velocity of all EM
radiation is speed of light (3 x 108 m/s or 186,400 miles/s)
Details all the various forms of EM radiation (see table above)

Number of waves that pass a particular point in a given time frame (i.e. cycles per second); measured in hertz (Hz)
and represented by Greek letter nu
Greek letter that represents wavelength
Greek letter that represents frequency
Electromagnetic radiation that acts like a small bundle of energy dependent on frequency; same as quantum
Electromagnetic radiation that acts like a small bundle of energy dependent on frequency; same as photon
Energy emitted and transferred through matter
Distance between any two successive points on a wave (i.e. measured from crest to crest); represented by Greek
letter lambda
Electromagnetic energy travels as a wave without requiring a medium; explains reflection, refraction, and
absorption; photons are more likely to interact with matter that is similar in size to the wavelength of the photon;
includes characteristics such as velocity (speed of light), amplitude, wavelength, frequency
1. Highly penetrating, invisible rays that are a form of electromagnetic radiation
2. Electrically neutral and therefore not affected by either electric or magnetic fields
3. Can be produced over a wide variety of energies and wavelengths (polyenergetic and heterogeneous)
4. Release very small amounts of heat upon passing through matter
5. Travel in straight lines
6. Travel at the speed of light in a vacuum
7. Can ionize matter
8. Cause fluorescence (the emission of light) of certain crystals
9. Cannot be focused by a lens
10. Affect photographic film
11. Produce chemical and biological changes in matter through ionization and excitation
12. Produce secondary and scatter radiation