Ionizing Radiation

Radiation with sufficient energy to eject electrons from electrically neutral atoms, leaving behind an ion. There are four basic types of ionizing radiation:

  1. α particles (4He nuclei)
  2. β particles (electrons)
  3. Neutrons – neutrons are not themselves ionizing but their collisions with nuclei lead to the ejection of other charged particles that do cause ionization.
  4. X-rays or γ-rays (high frequency electromagnetic waves)

Some or all content above used with permission from J. H. Wittke.