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Ionising radiation

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Ionising radiation

(Science: radiobiology) radiation sufficiently energetic to dislodge electrons from an atom. Ionising radiation includes x and gamma radiation, electrons (beta radiation), alpha particles (helium nuclei) and heavier charge atomic nuclei. Neutrons ionise indirectly by colliding with atomic nuclei.

alpha and gamma radiation are far more effective at producing ionisation (and therefore more likely to cause tissue or cell damage) than beta radiation or neutrons.