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Penetrating ability of electromagnetic radiation

Different kinds of electromagnetic radiation have different penetrabilities. For example, if we take the human body as the object. Infrared light is emitted by the human body. Visible light is reflected off the surface of the human body, ultra-violet light (from sunlight) damages the skin, but X-rays are able to penetrate the skin and bone and allow for pictures of the inside of the human body to be taken.

If we compare the energy of visible light to the energy of X-rays, we find that X-rays have a much higher energy. Usually, kinds of electromagnetic radiation with higher energy have higher penetrabilities than those with low energies.

Certain kinds of electromagnetic radiation such as ultra-violet radiation, X-rays and gamma rays are very dangerous. Radiation such as these are called ionising radiation. Ionising radiation transfers energy as it passes through matter, breaking molecular bonds and creating ions.

Excessive exposure to radiation, including sunlight, X-rays and all nuclear radiation, can cause destruction of biological tissue.

Ultraviolet(uv) radiation and the skin

UVA and UVB are different ranges of frequencies for ultraviolet (UV) light. UVA and UVB can damage collagen fibres which results in the speeding up skin aging. In general, UVA is the least harmful, but it can contribute to the aging of skin, DNA damage and possibly skin cancer. It penetrates deeply and does not cause sunburn. Because it does not cause reddening of the skin (erythema) it cannot be measured in the SPF testing. There is no good clinical measurement of the blocking of UVA radiation, but it is important that sunscreen block both UVA and UVB.

UVB light can cause skin cancer. The radiation excites DNA molecules in skin cells, resulting in possible mutations, which can cause cancer. This cancer connection is one reason for concern about ozone depletion and the ozone hole.

As a defense against UV radiation, the body tans when exposed to moderate (depending on skin type) levels of radiation by releasing the brown pigment melanin. This helps to block UV penetration and prevent damage to the vulnerable skin tissues deeper down. Suntan lotion, often referred to as sunblock or sunscreen, partly blocks UV and is widely available. Most of these products contain an SPF rating that describes the amount of protection given. This protection, however, applies only to UVB rays responsible for sunburn and not to UVA rays that penetrate more deeply into the skin and may also be responsible for causing cancer and wrinkles. Some sunscreen lotion now includes compounds such as titanium dioxide which helps protect against UVA rays. Other UVA blocking compounds found in sunscreen include zinc oxide and avobenzone.

What makes a good sunscreen?

  • UVB protection: Padimate O, Homosalate, Octisalate (octyl salicylate), Octinoxate (octyl methoxycinnamate)
  • UVA protection: Avobenzone
  • UVA/UVB protection: Octocrylene, titanium dioxide, zinc oxide, Mexoryl (ecamsule)

Questions & Answers

how does the earth revolute
Kevin Reply
What is the momentum
Given Reply
The product of the object's mass and it's velocity
electric field def
how is ester formed
Aubrey Reply
how is n ester formed
Alcohol reacts with a carboxylic acid
and the reaction is catalysed by sulphuric acid
an athlete with a mass of 70kg runs at a velocity of 45km . determine the athlete's momentum
Lesedi Reply
Is that a velocity or something else
45km/h i guess
Change to m/s
45km/h = 12.5 m/s p=mv =70×12.5 =875 kg.m/s
what are the measures of the rates of reaction
Lesego Reply
Volume Concentration Temperature Pressure Surface Area
the principle of superposition of waves
Sfundo Reply
what is work
Kool Reply
is this a group chat
Nobuhle Reply
Hey can y'all define newton's 2nd law
If a resultant force act on an object...the object will accelerate in the direction of a resultant force,the acceleration of the object is directly proportional to the net force and inversely proportional to the mass of the object
how do you calculate tension force
use the formula Fnet=ma if there is tension connecting two objects
to calculate Tension, usually calculate acceleration first Draw separate free body diagrams for each body. Apply Fnet = ma to calculate Tension
Hi people
how does temperature affect the equilibrium position
Blessing Reply
an increased temperature increases the average kinetic energy thus in turn increases the number of effective collisions........
so...which reaction is favored between endothermic and exothermic .when temperature is increased..?
exothermic reaction because energy is realised to the surroundings as heat and light energy ....graphical so much energy is realised as reactants to form product and because temperature is high rate of reaction is fast which means there is a successful collision
an object will continue in a state of rest unless it is acted upon an unbalanced force
Junior Reply
Newton's Law 1
First Newton's Law
Newton's first law
newton first law
Newton's first law
when pressure is increased what happen to volume
Siphelo Reply
care to explain?
if pressure is applied to a pistol , the volume will decrease and particles will collide more frequently with the wall of a container .Each time they collide with the wall they exert a force on them .More collision means more force and the pressure will increase , that Boyle's Law
Because the volume has decreased , the particle will collide more frequently with the wall of a container and each time they collide with the wall of a container they exert a force on them.More collision means more force so the pressure will increase , that Boyle's Law
what is the difference between momentum and a change in momentum?
Chavonne Reply
Change in momentum is the impulse of the object
Momentum is a vector quantity equal to the product of the mass of the particle and its velocity
How to name a branched molecule from right or left?
Vadin Reply
What's Free Fall
Senzo Reply
Free Fall means there is no acting force on that object.
only gravitational force
no external force acting on an object
by only force of gravite
but gravitational force
a motion in which the only force acting is gravitational force
and an object experiencing free fall is referred as a projectile
Do polymers form restrictedly only if compound is saturated, only?
milani Reply

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Source:  OpenStax, Siyavula textbooks: grade 12 physical science. OpenStax CNX. Aug 03, 2011 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11244/1.2
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