In physics, radiation is the emission or transmission of energy in the form of waves or particles through space or through a material medium. This includes:
electromagnetic radiation, such as radio waves, microwaves, infrared, visible light, ultraviolet, x-rays, and gamma radiation
particle radiation, such as alpha radiation, beta radiation, proton radiation and neutron radiation
acoustic radiation, such as ultrasound, sound, and seismic waves
gravitational radiation, radiation that takes the form of gravitational waves, or ripples in the curvature of spacetime
Radiation is often categorized as either ionizing or non-ionizing depending on the energy of the radiated particles. Ionizing radiation carries more than 10 eV, which is enough to ionize atoms and molecules and break chemical bonds. This is an important distinction due to the large difference in harmfulness to living organisms. A common source of ionizing radiation is radioactive materials that emit α, β, or γ radiation, consisting of helium nuclei, electrons or positrons, and photons, respectively.
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