Gamma-rays (ϒ) are a form of electromagnetic radiation with the shortest wavelength and highest energy. Gamma radiation, unlike alpha or beta, does not consist of any particles, Instead, it consists of a photon of energy being emitted from an unstable nucleus. Having no mass or charge, gamma radiation can travel much farther through the air than alpha or beta, losing (on average) half its energy for every 500 feet.
Gamma waves can be stopped by a thick or dense enough layer material, with high atomic number materials such as lead or depleted uranium being the most effective form of shielding. Gamma rays are more penetrating, in matter, and can damage living cells to a great extent.
Uses of Gamma Rays/Radiation
1. They are used to treat malignant tumours in radiotherapy,
2 They are used for sterilizing medical instruments or equipments
3. In an industrial setting, they are used to detect defects in metal castings and to find weak spots in welded structures.
4. They are used as tracers in medicine
‘5. Gamma rays in the form of a radionuclide called cobalt 60 ore used to preserve food