The emission of particles or energy in a wave-like manner, and the propagation thereof. Radiation may also be used to describe the emission of radioactive paritcles emittied from elements that are radioactive. The common use of the word radiation is to describe only harmful forms of radiation, even though the term radiation covers every form of emitted energy from a source, including radio waves and light.

The average person is exposed to 170 millirems of radiation per year. 50% of that comes from natural sources (cosmic rays, solar radiation, upper atmosphere radiation, and natural radioactivity), while the other 50% from artificial sources (mostly from medical exams).

Radiation is measured in RADs (Radiation Absorbed Dose), REMs (Roentgen Equivalent Man), Gy (gray), Sv (sievert), or Bq (becquerel).

Radiation statistics (mostly from ):

A person would get one millirem of radiation from:

You increase your dose by a millirem by:

The risk of one millirem of radiation dose is a 1 in 8 million risk of dying of cancer if large dose effects extrapolate linearly to zero dose.

The loss in life expectancy from a 1 millirem dose is about 1.2 minutes, which is equivalent to:

Typical annual exposure levels in millirem:
   5 statutory limit on radiation from operating
     a nuclear power plant
  25 internal exposure from radioactive
     material ingested into the body 
  45 cosmic rays
  75 diagnostic medical exposure (x-rays)
  60 external radiation from radioactive
     ores, etc
 120 natural radiation sources (combined)
 200 average total exposure in the U.S.
 500 average occupational dose for radiologists
1250 natural exposure in mountainous regions of Brazil
5000 maximum permissible occupational exposure (5 rem)
Consequences of radiation exposure in rem (not millirem!)
  rem    Effect
  0-25   No observable effect  
 25-100  Slight blood changes 
100-200  Significant temporary reduction in blood
         platelets and white blood cells
200-500  Severe blood damage, nausea, hair loss,
         hemorrhage, death in many cases 
   >600  Death in less than two months for over 80% 
         of people

The tenth Marillion studio album, released in 1998. A very fast-paced, poppy, fun album. The video for These Chains was up on Apple's web site for a while.

Radiation was produced by the band themselves with some help by longtime engineer Stuart Every. Quite frankly, the sound is not as good as many of their other albums (espeically ones produced by Dave Meegan). Oddly, the US master of this album sounds quite a bit clearer than the UK version. The US version was released a few months after the UK one, on Velvel Records, which is since defunct, so it will likely be hard to find.

This was an album where Marillion proved they were listening to other bands. Notably Radiohead from which much is borrowed. A single from this album has a cover of Fake Plastic Trees as a b-side. The final track is the obligatory 10-minute epic.


< This Strange Engine | >

If Radiation Were Cookies...
...which one would you eat?

So if you had four cookies, and you could eat one, put one in your pocket, hold one in your hand, and throw the other away, what would you do?

This problem is used to help people understand the effects of different kinds of radiation. This has largely to do with each type of radiation's dose factor.

Gamma cookie: You would eat this one, because it doesn't cause much somatic damage.

Beta cookie: Your pocket is the choice for this one, as it will be shielded by one layer of clothing.

Alpha cookie: Hold this one in your hand, because it will be blocked by your first layer of skin.

Neutron cookie: Throw this sucker away.

The dose factor has to do with the size of the particle (photons have no mass, at least while at rest), its state of charge (an alpha particle is +2), and its penetration distance.

Radiation and its usage in diagnostic medicine was essentially initiated in 1895, when a German scientist experimenting with vacuum tubes discovered the first X-ray apparatus. Called "X-ray" because the type of ray was unknown to Roentgen, the man who discovered it, it paved the way for many other types of diagnostic imaging utilizing radiation. Throughout the early 20th century, the X-ray was used during war to expose the existence of shrapnel and bullets in wounded soldiers' bodies. Today, it is used to detect injuries and two-dimensional problems, such as broken or fractured bones or pulmonary concerns. Also, X-raying a patient more greatly prevented the need for exploratory surgery, which, in times when antisepsis was not as prevalent as it is today, could prove dangerous and uncomfortable for the patient. Much time, pain, and greater stress on the patient has been eliminated with the use of the X-ray.

Ra`di*a"tion (?), n. [L. radiatio: cf. F. radiation.]


The act of radiating, or the state of being radiated; emission and diffusion of rays of light; beamy brightness.


The shooting forth of anything from a point or surface, like the diverging rays of light; as, the radiation of heat.


© Webster 1913.

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