Radiation (was: <Silly>: Help with question about web page access)

From: Patrick Finnegan <pat_at_computer-refuge.org>
Date: Wed Aug 18 23:31:11 2004

On Wednesday 18 August 2004 22:19, der Mouse wrote:
> I suspect it also has something to do with the effects. If a gamma
> ray _is_ absorbed, the nature of the damage it does is different from
> ditto for an alpha particle (I don't know enough about the details of
> either to say much more, but I do know they're quite fundamentally
> different).

The effects are quite the same... they're both ionizing radiation, so
the effect is that the radiation particle knocks free some electrons,
and turns something into an ion. That's what the damaging effects are
from...ionizing atoms that are in proteins, for example, tends to break
them apart.

The main difference is that gamma radiation, being electromagnetic waves
can travel farther through/into objects before striking something and
dumping their energy (and ionizing the atom). Alpha radiation tends to
travel a shorter distance before striking something because of its MUCH
larger mass (essentially ionized helium), and its inherent positive

Purdue University ITAP/RCS        ---  http://www.itap.purdue.edu/rcs/
The Computer Refuge               ---  http://computer-refuge.org
Received on Wed Aug 18 2004 - 23:31:11 BST

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