Accessibility Information and Accesskeys | Skip navigation

Radiation Protection Glossary

Search the Glossary by either clicking on a letter or typing a Keyword into the search box.

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M
N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | XYZ
Gamma Rays
Gamma Rays are a type of high energy Electromagnetic Electromagnetic spectrum in the form of Photons which have no mass. In Radioactive Decay they originate from changes in the structure and energy levels of the Atomic Nucleus , or, through electron-positron annihilation or by nuclear fission Gamma rays travel greater distances than either Alpha Particles or Beta Particles and are much more difficult to shield.
Gamma-ray Constant (Specific)
The (specific) Gamma-ray Constant is a useful numerical quantity which is used to predict exposure in terms of Equivalent Dose per unit activity per unit distance. As the term is a constant, distance and activity values will vary in a linear fashion with distance and exposure, making approximate calculations of exposure (especially from Point Sources ) very easy. For example, the gamma-ray constant for Cesium-137 is 1 X 10-4 mSv h-1 per MBq per metre from a point source. It therefore follows that the calculated effective dose for 10 MBq at 1m will be 0.001 mSv h-1.
Geiger counter
A Geiger Counter (G-M Counter) is a type of detector used to measure levels of Radiation or Contamination . The counter is relatively simple to make and is quite robust so it is used regularly in the field to take quick measurements. Due to its mode of operation, the output of the Geiger Tube is independent of the incident energy or the incoming Ionisation event. Thus it is strictly a 'counter' rather than an energy spectrometer. Whilst the geiger counter will respond to Gamma Rays they are particularly suited to medium and high energy Beta Particles (e.g. C-14, S-35, P-32).
Genetic effects
Genetics effects (with respect to Radiation Protection ) are those effects present in the offspring of those exposed to Probabilistic / Stochastic levels of Ionising Radiation .
Glove Box
The glove box is a type of enclosure used to completely contain Radioactive materials, thus separating them from the operator who needs to manipulate them. They are normally constructed from either a fibre glass material or stainless steel and incorporate extraction systems to maintain a negative pressure relative to the general working environment. They are particularly useful for Alpha nuclides which represent a significant internal hazard if inhaled. If high energy Gamma emitters are also present the box may be shielded by lead sheet or bricks (with leaded glass viewing windows).
Gray
The Gray (Gy) is the SI unit of Absorbed Dose . 1Gy is equivalent to an energy of 1 Joule / Kg of absorbing medium. 1 Gy is also equal to 100 Rads (the rad being the old unit of absorbed dose).