This is an archived course. A more recent version may be available at

Introduction to Ionizing Radiation

Half section view of an ultracold neutron trapping apparatus.

Half section view of an ultracold neutron trapping apparatus. The trap is loaded through inelastic scattering of col d neutrons (11 K) with phonons in superfluid helium-4. Trapped neutrons are detected when they beta decay; energetic decay electrons ionize helium atoms in the superfluid resulting in efficient conversion of electron kinetic energy into light (scintillation). (Image courtesy of NIST.)


MIT Course Number


As Taught In

Fall 2006



Translated Versions


Course Description

Course Features

Course Description

This course provides an introduction to the basic properties of ionizing radiations and their uses in medicine, industry, science, and environmental studies. We will discuss natural and man-made radiation sources, energy deposition and dose calculations, and various physical, chemical, and biological processes and effects of radiation, with examples of their uses, and principles of radiation protection.

Other Versions

Other OCW Versions

OCW has published multiple versions of this subject. Question_OVT logo

Archived versions: Question_avt logo

Related Content

Jeffrey Coderre. 22.01 Introduction to Ionizing Radiation. Fall 2006. Massachusetts Institute of Technology: MIT OpenCourseWare, License: Creative Commons BY-NC-SA.

For more information about using these materials and the Creative Commons license, see our Terms of Use.