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Radiation Safety

Background Information
Gamma Radiation
Health Concerns

Radiation Theory
Nature of Radiation
Sources of High Energy

Rad for Ind Radiography
Decay and Half-life
Energy, Activity, Intensity   and Exposure
Interaction with Matter
Measures Related to   Biological Effects

Biological Effects
Biological Factors
Stochastic (Delayed) Effects
  -Genetic Effects

Nonstochastic (Acute) Effects

Safe Use of Radiation
NRC & Code of Federal
Exposure Limits
Controlling Exposure
  -Time-Dose Calculation
  -Distance-Intensity Calc
HVL Shielding
Safety Controls

Survey Techniques

Radiation Safety Equipment
Radiation Detectors
Survey Meters
Pocket Dosimeter
Audible Alarm Rate Meters
Film Badges

Video Clips




X-rays were discovered in 1895 by Wilhelm Conrad Roentgen (1845-1923) who was a Professor at Wuerzburg University in Germany. Working with a cathode-ray tube in his laboratory, Roentgen observed a fluorescent glow of crystals on a table near his tube. The tube that Roentgen was working with consisted of a glass envelope (bulb) with positive and negative electrodes encapsulated in it. The air in the tube was evacuated, and when a high voltage was applied, the tube produced a fluorescent glow. Roentgen shielded the tube with heavy black paper, and discovered a green colored fluorescent light generated by a material located a few feet away from the tube.

Roentgen's discovery was a scientific bombshell, and was received with extraordinary interest by both scientists and laymen. Experimenters, physicians, laymen, and physicists alike set up X-ray generating apparatus to duplicate his experiments. Public fancy was caught by this invisible ray with the ability to pass through solid matter, and, in conjunction with a photographic plate, provide a picture of bones and interior body parts. Scientific fancy was captured by the demonstration of a wavelength shorter than light. All this work was done with a lack of concern regarding potential dangers. Such a lack of concern is quite understandable, for there was nothing in previous experience to suggest that X-rays would in any way be hazardous. Indeed, the opposite was the case, for who would suspect that a ray similar to light but unseen, unfelt, or otherwise undetectable by the senses would be damaging to a person? More likely, or so it seemed to some, X-rays could be beneficial for the body.