What is radiation?

Radiation is energy that is transmitted in the form of waves or streams of particles. It is present everywhere in our environment.

Radiation can be described based on the effect it has on things. Typically, it is divided into two types of radiation: ionizing and non-ionizing.

Ionizing radiation includes the radiation that comes from both natural and man-made radioactive materials such as cosmic rays, nuclear power plants, and X-ray machines.

Non-ionizing radiation is a lower energy radiation such as radio waves, ultraviolet rays, microwaves, and sunlight.

The Energy Spectrum

The Energy Spectrum

© "The Energy Spectrum" graphic reproduced by permission of World Nuclear Association, London, UK