Radiation Protection Glossary

A radiation protection glossary for Radiation Protection Supervisors (RPS) and anyone interesting in radiation safety terminology. The glossary is a mixture of health physics terms, and phrases related to radiation legislation, transport, practical safety and similar.

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Bremsstrahlung

Bremsstrahlung, also known as Braking Radiation occurs when ever a charged particle undergoes a change of velocity as it interacts with an absorber. Electromagnetic Radiation (X-Rays) are the result. For Radiation Protection purposes, Bremsstrahlung radiation resulting from the interaction of fast moving Electrons (Beta Particles) with shielding materials, are of particular concern. Here, the degree of conversion to Bremsstrahlung radiation and the magnitude of its energy is proportional to the incident electron energy and the atomic number of the absorber. Hence shielding for high energy Beta emitters like P-32, needs low atomic number material such as Perspex.

The ultimate paradox, of course, is that even though we're all going to die, we've all got to live in the meantime…

– Brian Cox