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UV radiation from the Sun is broadly subdivided into three wavelength ranges: UV-A (320–400 nm) is the lowest frequency, then UV-B (290–320 nm) and UV-C (220–290 nm). Most UV-B and all UV-C are absorbed by ozone ( O 3 ) molecules in the upper atmosphere. Consequently, 99% of the solar UV radiation reaching Earth’s surface is UV-A.

Sunburn is caused by large exposures to UV-B and UV-C, and repeated exposure can increase the likelihood of skin cancer. The tanning response is a defense mechanism in which the body produces pigments in inert skin layers to reduce exposure of the living cells below.

As examined in a later chapter, the shorter the wavelength of light, the greater the energy change of an atom or molecule that absorbs the light in an electronic transition. This makes short-wavelength ultraviolet light damaging to living cells. It also explains why ultraviolet radiation is better able than visible light to cause some materials to glow, or fluoresce .

Besides the adverse effects of ultraviolet radiation, there are also benefits of exposure in nature and uses in technology. Vitamin D production in the skin results from exposure to UV-B radiation, generally from sunlight. Several studies suggest vitamin D deficiency is associated with the development of a range of cancers (prostate, breast, colon), as well as osteoporosis. Low-intensity ultraviolet has applications such as providing the energy to cause certain dyes to fluoresce and emit visible light, for example, in printed money to display hidden watermarks as counterfeit protection.


X-ray     s have wavelengths from about 10 8 m to 10 12 m . They have shorter wavelengths, and higher frequencies, than ultraviolet, so that the energy they transfer at an atomic level is greater. As a result, X-rays have adverse effects on living cells similar to those of ultraviolet radiation, but they are more penetrating. Cancer and genetic defects can be induced by X-rays. Because of their effect on rapidly dividing cells, X-rays can also be used to treat and even cure cancer.

The widest use of X-rays is for imaging objects that are opaque to visible light, such as the human body or aircraft parts. In humans, the risk of cell damage is weighed carefully against the benefit of the diagnostic information obtained.

Gamma rays

Soon after nuclear radioactivity was first detected in 1896, it was found that at least three distinct types of radiation were being emitted, and these were designated as alpha, beta, and gamma rays. The most penetrating nuclear radiation, the gamma ray ( γ ray)    , was later found to be an extremely high-frequency electromagnetic wave.

The lower end of the γ - ray frequency range overlaps the upper end of the X-ray range. Gamma rays have characteristics identical to X-rays of the same frequency—they differ only in source. The name “gamma rays” is generally used for electromagnetic radiation emitted by a nucleus, while X-rays are generally produced by bombarding a target with energetic electrons in an X-ray tube. At higher frequencies, γ rays are more penetrating and more damaging to living tissue. They have many of the same uses as X-rays, including cancer therapy. Gamma radiation from radioactive materials is used in nuclear medicine.

Questions & Answers

what is the volume of a human being
Collins Reply
Why does the lines of force not touch each other 🇲🇲
Gbemisola Reply
what is unit
Rayyanu Reply
Please canu get more questions on electric field and electric flux please
is electric field directly proportional to the squared of a distance
Benjamin Reply
No electric field is inversely proportional to the squared distance between the charges
lets treat linear expansivity please
Ujah Reply
The bullet 2.00cm long is fired at 420/s and passes straight through a 10.0 cm thick board existing at 280 m/s.What is the average acceleration of the bullet through the board?
an unstretched spring is 12cm long .A load of 5N stretched it to 15cm .how long will it be under a load of 15N?
Benjamin how are u are u a freshman in the university
like 100 level
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Compare the electric flux through the surface of a cube of side length a that has a charge q at its center to the flux through a spherical surface of radius a with a charge q at its center.
Shari Reply
please I want to know how to solve increase in length
Why a charged capacitor has potential difference but not emf
Gideon Reply
what is the dimension symbol of temperature?
Keren Reply
what is the dimension symbol of temperature?
what's the meaning of enthalpy in terms of latent heat, internal energy, phase change
Anthony Reply
Enthalpy is the degree ofdisorderlinessof a substance
how to convert Kelvin to centigrade
Sangeetha Reply
what is the s, p, d, f in this table
s, p, d, f in this table
what kind of table this
Periodic table
what are waves
In physics, mathematics, and related fields, a wave is a propagating dynamic disturbance (change from equilibrium) of one or more quantities
Discuss how would orient a planar surface of area A in a uniform electric field of magnitude E0 to obtain (a) the maximum flux and (b) the minimum flux through the area.
I'm just doing the first 3 with this message. but thankyou for the time your obviously intending to support us with. viva la accumulation
Find the net capacitance of the combination of series and parallel capacitors shown belo
jean Reply
what is ohm?
Sharafat Reply
calculate ideal gas pressure of 0.300mol,v=2L T=40°c
Viola Reply
Practice Key Terms 9

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Source:  OpenStax, University physics volume 2. OpenStax CNX. Oct 06, 2016 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col12074/1.3
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