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Gamma radiation and X-rays
You should know some of the properties and
uses of gamma radiation and X-rays.
Gamma radiation
Gamma waves have a very high frequency.
Gamma radiation cannot be seen or felt. It
mostly passes through skin and soft tissue,
but some of it is absorbed by cells.
Gamma radiation is used, among other
things, for the following purposes.
to sterilise surgical instruments
to kill harmful bacteria in food
to kill cancer cells (note that lower doses of
gamma radiation could lead to cells becoming
Chest X-ray
X-rays have a lower frequency than gamma
radiation. Like gamma rays, they cannot be

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X-rays mostly pass through skin
and soft tissue, but they do not easily pass
through bone or metal.
X-rays are used to produce photographs of
bones to check for damage such as fractures.
They are also used in industry to check metal
components and welds for cracks or other
Lower doses of X-rays can cause cells to
become cancerous, so precautions are taken
in hospitals to limit the dose received by
patients and staff when X-ray photographs
are taken.…read more


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