Unit #1 Glossary of Terms

Curie:  (Ci) is the unit of measurement of the amount of radioactivity of a substance, named after Marie and Pierre Curie.      1 Ci = 3.7×1010 disintegrations per second (rate of decay)

Fluoroscope – an imaging technique that uses X-rays to obtain real-time images of the inside of an object.  This technology was abused in the 1950’s by shoe companies to “fit” an individual’s foot to a specific shoe.

Marie Curie:  Curie was the first woman awarded the Nobel Prize for her discovery of the radioactive elements Polonium and Radon.  Curie is the only person – male or female – to win the Nobel Prize twice.

Pierre Curie:   husband, research partner and co-Nobel Prize recipient of Marie Curie.

Becquerel (Bq) – Si unit for measuring radioactivity.

Henri Becquerel – French physicist that shared the 1903 Nobel Prize with Marie and Pierre Curie for his discovery of “spontaneous radioactivity”

Radiation: Energy in transit. Either as particles or electromagnetic waves.

RSO – Radiation Safety Officer – required for any company, education, medical or research facility that uses any form of Gamma or X-ray radiation.

Radioactivity:  The characteristic of various materials to emit ionizing radiation.

Roentgen (R) – is a unit of measurement to the exposure of ionizing radiation, specifically Gamma radiation and X-rays, named after the German physicist.

Roentgen – Wilhelm Conrad Roentgen discovered the X-ray while doing research in Germany on November 8th, 1895

X-ray – a type of ionizing radiation formed in a Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) when high velocity electrons flow from the cathode to the anode.


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Radiation Safety by J. S. Ballard is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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