Radiation, its subtle presence

Essay by freeasabirdHigh School, 11th gradeA-, October 2014

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Neumann 4

Nate Neumann

Heather Bullis


6 December, 2013

Radiation: Its Subtle Presence.

Radiation is naturally present in our environment, as it has been since before the birth of this planet. As well as there being natural radiation, there is also man made artificial radiation. The ball is inside our court, as we can control the radiation and make it harmful, or useful. Both the flora and fauna of our land are radioactive, in fact, all organic matter contains some small dose of radiation from radioactive potassium-40 and radium-226. In addition to that, the water on the surface of the earth has small amounts of dissolved thorium and uranium inside them. Radiation's presence is all around the world, from the electromagnetic spectrum's ionizing radiation like alpha particles, beta particles, rays, and to non-ionizing radiation, such as radio and microwave radiation. The Chernobyl and Fukushima incident proved that the technology involving ionizing radiation is not mature enough to be entrusted to humankind.

People also do not apprehend the subtle health risks of the non-ionizing radiation that is around people's daily lifestyle like the cell phone radiation and the microwave radiation. Radiation is a form of energy that goes into the form of particles and waves. The ionizing radiation has such high energy that is credited with the ability to break chemical bonds. When the radiation changes the bond between atoms, the atom's electric structure that the radiation interacts with is, in fact, changed. This is known as ionizing. Also, the nucleus of an atom can be in danger of destruction if the radiation has a high enough given energy, but if the energy is low enough, it strips off electrons from the atoms. Radiation can also pass though objects, including a human's body, so when it passes though one's tissues;...