Dr. Adnan Lahham Published a book entitled "INTRODUCTION TO RADIATION SCIENCE"


Radiation is everywhere in the universe. Our planet Earth is radioactive and has been since it was created. The three main constituents of matter are electrons, protons and neutrons. Ionizing radiation, the type of radiation, which can ionize ordinary atoms, is formed from these elementary particles and from electromagnetic energy. Electromagnetic energy can be produced in the annihilation process of particles and antiparticles; when they combine with each other, their mass is converted into electromagnetic radiation. What I try to say here is that radiation is created from the matter itself; from its most fundamental constituents. Radioactivity is found naturally in air, water and soil. It is found even in the Human body, which contains radioactive elements such as radioactive Potassium, Radiocarbon, and even Thorium and Uranium and their decay products. We know now, that the overall radioactivity of the Human body from the mentioned radionuclides is about 9 kBq. This means that, in our bodies, about 9000 disintegrations of unstable radioactive elements occur every second. Peaceful applications of nuclear energy and ionizing radiation in today’s world are already clearly visible in many aspects of our life. Radioisotopes and radiation have many applications in medicine, in both diagnosis and treatment of diseases, agriculture, industry, research and in energy production. Even naturally, occurring radioactivity is used in many industrial and environmental technologies; in geology, hydrology and geophysical exploration. The above mentioned peaceful applications of atomic energy is only one side of the atomic era. The other side is the obvious public fear from health effects of this invisible and undetectable by our senses phenomena; the radiation phenomena. This fear is justified, having in mind the disastrous effect of nuclear weapons and ionizing radiation in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, in 1945. The disaster at Chernobyl nuclear power plant in 1986 has also increased the public fear from the possible harmful health effects of radiation. This book is designed to enhance our knowledge about radiation science. It is based on notes, which I have developed over the past 25 years of teaching nuclear physics, environmental radioactivity, applications of nuclear techniques in science and technology and radiological physics. The book also originates from long time experience in scientific research in the fields of radiation dosimetry, human body monitoring and nuclear spectroscopy. This book attempts to provide a basic and easy to understand information on all aspects of radiation science. From basic understanding of atomic and nuclear structures, through radiation units and quantities, interaction of radiation with matter, environmental radioactivity, health effects of radiation, radiation protection and radiation detection and measurement. Subjects are laid out in a logical sequence, making the topics easier for readers to follow. Therefore, the book is intended to be a useful textbook for undergraduate and graduate students in the academic programs of physics, environmental studies and medical radiology. It can be also useful for professionals in different fields of radiation applications in science and technology. This book was only possible to be published with the help of my wife Taghreed, my colleagues from Al-Quds University and the Palestine Ahliya University, whom I would like to thank very much.

Adnan Lahham, MSc., RNDr., PhD.
Director – Center for Radiation Science & Technology
Al - Quds University , Jerusalem – Palestine
November 2013



Chapter 1

Atomic and nuclear structure

1.1 Atoms and nuclei
1.2 Forces inside the atom
1.3 Elementary particles
1.4 Elements and isotopes
1.5 Stable and radioactive nuclei
1.6 Experimental facts about atomic nuclei

Chapter 2

Nuclear decay and radioactivity

2.1 Radioactive decay law
2.2 Types of Radioactive decay
2.3 X- Ray
2.3.1 X-Ray production

Chapter 3

Properties of ionizing radiation

3.1 Properties of  radiation
3.2 Properties of radiation
3.3 Properties of and X radiation
3.4 Properties of neutrons
3.4.1 Classification of neutrons

Chapter 4
Interaction of ionizing radiation with matter

4.1 Absorption of particles
4.2 Absorption of particles
4.3 Interaction of X and rays with matter
4.4 Dependence of absorption on atomic number
4.5 Half value layer
4.6 Absorption of neutrons

Chapter 5

Radioactivity of the environment

5.1 Naturally occurring radionuclides
5.1.1 Primordial radionuclides
5.1.2 Cosmic radiation
5.1.3 Cosmogenic radionuclides
5.1.4 Terrestrial radiation
5.1.5 Radon
5.2 Man-made radiation sources
5.2.1 Global fallout from nuclear bomb testing
5.2.2 Medical applications of radiation
5.2.3 Security devices as source of exposure
5.2.4 Radioactivity in consumer products
5.2.5 Accidental radiation exposure
5.2.6 Industrial applications of radiation
5.2.7 Nuclear power generation


Chapter 6

Radioactive wastes

6.1 Classification of radioactive wastes
6.2 Radioactive wastes from nuclear fuel cycle
6.3 Radioactive wastes from research centers universities
6.4 Radioactive wastes from medical and industrial uses

Chapter 7


7.1 Subject of radioecology
7.2 Cycle of radioactivity in the ecosystem of Man
7.3 Ecologically important radionuclides
7.4 Natural background
7.5 Radiotoxicity
7.6 External and internal exposure of Man

Chapter 8

Radiation quantities and units

8.1 Exposure
8.2 Absorbed dose
8.3 Equivalent dose
8.4 Effective dose
8.5 Linear energy transfer
8.6 Traditional and SI units


Chapter 9

Biological effects of radiation

9.1 Characteristics of ionizing radiation on human body
9.2 Effects of radiation on cells
9.3 Types of biological effects
9.4 Acute and latent effects
9.5 Somatic and genetic effects
9.6 Sensitivity of body organs to radiation
9.7 Comparison of risks

Chapter 10

Radiation protection

10.1 The basic framework of radiation protection
10.2 The system of radiation protection
10.3 Scope of radiation protection
10.4 Types of exposure
10.5 System of dose limitation
10.5.1 Dose limits for occupational exposure
10.5.2 Dose limits for general public
10.6 Control of external exposure
10.7 Control of internal exposure

Chapter 11

Radiation detection and measurement

11.1 Radiation detection mechanism
11.2 Principles of gas filled detectors
11.3 Principles of scintillation detectors
11.4 Dose measuring instruments
11.4.1 Film dosimeter
11.4.2 Thermoluminescent dosimeter
11.4.3 Pocket dosimeter
11.4.4 Digital electronic dosimeter


Appendix A: Some physical constants

Appendix B: Prefixes

Appendix C: Glossary of radiation terms and definitions