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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Ionisation Chamber

The ionisation chamber is a device designed to measure Ionising Radiation exposure. In simple terms, it consists of a chamber which may either be sealed (containing a gas) or vented to free air. Within the chamber are two electrodes to which a high potential difference (voltage) is applied. If an ionisation event occurs within the chamber it will create an Ion Pair within the fill gas. These ion pairs will migrate to the respective positive and negative electrodes which lead to a reduction in current which, can be detected and measured within external circuitry. Air-filled chambers made of tissue equivalent materials are particularly useful for measuring body radiation exposure (Absorbed Dose). They tend to have a slow response time and are susceptible to changes in climate.

Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one

– Albert Einstein