Alfa beta gamma radiation

A diagram showing the three types of radiation.

Gamma rays are part of the electromagnetic spectrum. They have a frequency of aproxamply 1019 Hz. Gamma radiation cannot be seen or heard. It only occurs naturally in radioactive decy and nuclear fusion in stars and other stellar phenomenon. Gamma rays are extremely pentetrating and it can take up to a few metres of thick lead screening to effectively shield against them. They can be quite damaging to cell tissues and DNA, and exposure to it often results in mutations and other abnormalities.


Gamma rays are a type of radiation, emitted during radioactive decay. They can travel far and are stopped by many centimetres of lead. However, this means their ionising effect is small.


  • Nuclear fusion/radio active decay
  • Sterilizing surgical equipment
  • Killing harmful bacteria in food
  • Killing cancerous cells

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