Ionizing radiation includes the more energetic end of the electromagnetic spectrum (x-rays and gamma rays) and subatomic particles, such as electrons, neutrons and alpha particles (each of the helium nuclei comprises two protons and two neutrons). The energy emitted by a source is generally referred to as radiation. Examples include heat or sunlight, microwaves in an oven, x-rays from an x-ray tube, and gamma rays from radioactive elements. Ionizing radiation can remove electrons from atoms, that is, ionizing radiation is a form of energy that works by removing electrons from atoms and molecules of materials including air, water, and living tissue.
Ionizing radiation can travel unseen and pass through these materials. It is on the right side of the electromagnetic spectrum in the following figure. Since most ionized atoms are due to secondary beta particles, photons are indirect ionizing radiation. The third type of ionizing radiation includes gamma and x-rays, which are electromagnetic and indirectly ionizing radiation.
Ionizing radiation is radiation with enough energy to remove tightly bound electrons from the orbit of an atom, causing that atom to charge or ionize. Ionizing radiation (or ionizing radiation), including nuclear radiation, consists of subatomic particles or electromagnetic waves that have enough energy to ionize atoms or molecules by separating electrons from them. The boundary between ionizing and non-ionizing radiation in the ultraviolet area is not clearly defined, since different molecules and atoms ionize at different energies. Neutrons are generally unable to ionize an atom directly due to their lack of charge, most commonly neutrons ionize indirectly, since they are absorbed into a stable atom, making it unstable and more likely to emit ionizing radiation of another type.
Radioactive materials are substances that spontaneously emit various combinations of ionizing particles (alpha and beta) and gamma rays of ionizing radiation to make them more stable.