This chapter presents a brief introduction to radioisotopes, sources and types of radiation, applications, effects, and occupational protection. The natural and artificial sources of radiations are discussed with special reference to natural radioactive decay series and artificial radioisotopes. Applications have played significant role in improving the quality of human life. The application of radioisotopes in tracing, radiography, food preservation and sterilization, eradication of insects and pests, medical diagnosis and therapy, and new variety of crops in agricultural field is briefly described. Radiation interacts with matter to produce excitation and ionization of an atom or molecule; as a result physical and biological effects are produced. These effects and mechanisms are discussed. The dosimetric quantities used in radiological protection are described. Radiological protections and the control of occupational and medical exposures are briefly described.
Part of the book: Principles and Applications in Nuclear Engineering