Nuclear Chemistry

Chemistry Inside the Atom

What is gamma radiation?

While alpha and beta radiation is the loss of some particle from an atom, gamma radiation is the release of electromagnetic radiation (called gamma rays). This energy is typically of a high frequency (>1019 Hz), which means it’s high energy (> 100 keV) and can cause significant damage. Gamma radiation can easily penetrate deep into your body, unlike alpha and beta particles, causing damage to your cells and the DNA inside them. Sometimes this damage is useful, though, and some radiation therapies for cancer treatment make use of gamma radiation to kill the malignant cells.


This is a web preview of the "The Handy Chemistry Answer Book" app. Many features only work on your mobile device. If you like what you see, we hope you will consider buying. Get the App