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Radiation Safety Training Module
Radiographic Sciences and Analytical X-ray Machines
Study Guide
ISU Technical Safety Office, Campus Box 8106
Pocatello, ID 83209
(208) 282-2311/2310

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Radiation Safety Trng in .doc

Radiation Safety Trng in .pdf

Radiographic Sci Trng in .doc

Radiographic Sci Trng in .pdf


Concepts in radiation physics

Atomic structure

The basic particles of the atom:
  • Protons
  • Neutrons
  • Electrons
Only certain combinations of neutrons and protons in the nucleus result in stable atoms;  unstable atoms will emit particles or energy to become stable and are referred to as radioactive.

Types of radiation
Radiation is classified as either ionizing or non-ionizing. Ionization occurs when enough energy is supplied to an atom and an electron is removed from the atom.  The resulting atom will have a positive charge. Non-ionizing radiation includes radiant heat, radio waves, ultraviolet radiation, and light.

Common ionizing radiation includes:
  • Alpha particles
  • Beta particles
  • Photons (gamma rays and x-rays)
  • Neutrons

Only x-rays from radiation producing devices are discussed here.

X-ray radiation

X-rays are generated when energetic electrons strike a target. They result from shell transitions of orbital electrons in the target.  They are also formed from the deceleration of electrons interacting with matter (this is known as bremsstrahlung).

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