Radiation Protection Glossary
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Gamma Rays are a type of high energy Electromagnetic
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.
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.
A Geiger Counter (G-M Counter) is a type of detector used to measure levels of Radiation
. 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).
Genetics effects (with respect to Radiation Protection
) are those effects present in the offspring of those exposed to Probabilistic
levels of Ionising Radiation
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).
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).