Dictionary Meaning and Definition on 'Radiation'
- energy that is radiated or transmitted in the form of rays or waves or particles
- the act of spreading outward from a central source
- syndrome resulting from exposure to ionizing radiation (e.g., exposure to radioactive chemicals or to nuclear explosions); low doses cause diarrhea and nausea and vomiting and sometimes loss of hair; greater exposure can cause sterility and cataracts and some forms of cancer and other diseases; severe exposure can cause death within hours; "he was suffering from radiation" [syn: radiation sickness, radiation syndrome]
- the spontaneous emission of a stream of particles or electromagnetic rays in nuclear decay [syn: radioactivity]
- the spread of a group of organisms into new habitats
- a radial arrangement of nerve fibers connecting different parts of the brain
- (medicine) the treatment of disease (especially cancer) by exposure to radiation from a radioactive substance [syn: radiotherapy, radiation therapy, actinotherapy, irradiation]
- Radiation \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.
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Wikipedia Meaning and Definition on 'Radiation'
Radiation is when energy moves through space away from a source (of radiation). Radiation is one of the best understood parts of physics. There are two broad classes of radiation: ionizing radiation which comes from radioactive materials and x-ray machines and non-ionizing radiation (usually electromagnetic radiation) which comes from other sources. Ionizing radiation, which carries a large energy in each particle, can change things that it hits, hurting people or animals or causing chemical changes. Non-ionizing radiation does not cause microscopic damage, but some types can cause chemical changes or make things hotter.
There are many different ways that energy can travel through space in this way. One way is in the form of shifting electrical and magnetic fields. This is why some common types of radiation are referred to as Electromagnetic radiation, also known as light. (A different way to think of electromagnetic radiation is as a stream of particles of energy called photons.) Another way that radiation can travel is in the form of tiny particles. These are pieces of atoms, like neutrons or protons (please see the article on atoms for more information). When radiation is made up of quickly moving particles (like pieces of atoms), it is referred to as particle radiation.[See more about Radiation at Dictionary 3.0 Encyclopedia]
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