Radiation Basics

Illustration of radiation being emitted from atom

What is Radiation?

Radiation is energy that comes from a source and travels through space at the speed of light. This energy has an electric field and a magnetic field associated with it, and has wave-like properties. You could also call radiation “electromagnetic waves”.

To learn more about the electromagnetic spectrum, the ionized atom, and properties of radioactive isotopes, click here


Radiation measurements - amount of radioactivity, ambient radiation levels, radiation dose

Measuring Radiation

Three common measurements of radiation are the amount of radioactivity, ambient radiation levels, and radiation dose.

To learn more about what is measured when measuring radiation and how to measure radiation, click here


time, distance, and shielding

Radiation Safety

The guiding principle of radiation safety is ALARA or “as low as reasonably achievable”.

To learn more about how time, distance, and shielding play a role in radiation safety, click here

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Page last reviewed: August 6, 2021