What is radiation, and What does radiation smell like?

What is radiation, and can you smell it?

For many years we have been using and dealing with radiation in our daily lives; while scientists to this day are still studying it. Radiations are energy or particles from an origin that travels through space and other mediums like light waves. 

Types of Radiations

Alpha radiations: Alpha radiation is a form of energetic particles that come from human-made elements and emit uranium and radium. They’re very potent but can’t penetrate the skin’s surface, so they don’t pose any immediate threat to anyone.

Beta particles: Beta particles are tiny, fast-moving electrons that can easily penetrate the skin. They’re not as effective at passing through metal or wood, though, so one might want a layer of either.

Gamma Rays: There are high-energy waves that come from radioactive material, and they can get through the skin to your organs.

X-rays: X-rays are a type of radiation that use ionizing electromagnetic waves. They’re not nuclear in origin, but they have high energy and the capacity to penetrate matter. Because of these properties, they are highly dangerous to humans.

How can you detect radiation?

Ionizing radiation is invisible to our natural senses. You cannot smell, see, hear, or feel it. For this reason alone it’s easy to miss the presence of radiation without special instruments. Fortunately, there are ways to detect radiation which are as follows:

  • Geiger Counter, with Geiger-Mueller (GM) Tube: 

It is a device that can detect radiation and create an electrical pulse. An electrical pulse is created when it interacts with the wall or gas in tubes. These pulses are converted into readings on the instrument meter, which could be used for contamination measurements! The common readout units for radiation exposure are roentgen per hour (R/hr), milliroentgen(mR) or REMs.

  • The Micro-R Meters sodium iodide Detector

MicroR Meter is the perfect tool for detecting just about any radioactivity you might come across. With its ability to measure both reflected and emitted radiation, it’s able to spot things that other meters cannot! The Micro-R Meters sodium iodide Detector crystal creates a pulse of light when hit by ionizing particles from outer space; photomultiplier tubes (PMT) convert this electrical signal which gives rise to an accurate reading on the instruments’ meter.

  • Portable Multichannel Analyzer 

Portable multichannel analyzers are now more affordable than ever before. This is due in large part to the development and implementation of gamma-ray data libraries, as well as automatic procedures for identifying types of materials based on their atomic number. With these tools at hand, professionals can easily identify any form of radiation they come across.

  • Ionization Chamber 

The chamber is an explorer’s best friend. It not only contains air and an electrical conductor but also low voltage central hallways that help detect radiation with x-rays or gamma rays! The ions form in this volume from the interaction between both types of particle emissions which originate inside your body during CT scans.

  • Dosimeter 

The dosimeter is a device that records the amount of exposure to radiation an individual has received. If workers are frequently exposed to high-level settings, such as those found at nuclear power plants or other comparable establishments, they frequently wear this equipment.

Need for radiation detector

We all know that radiation is never a good thing and also it can be hard to tell when you’re getting too much of it. With the help of radiation detectors, you can make sure it is within safe limits. High doses of radiation over five years may start giving symptoms like nausea and vomiting! A person exposed to radiation should make sure that radiation doesn’t exceed 20 MSV per year by checking with an expert.


Human senses cannot detect radiations. In the modern world, with the aid of cutting-edge technology, it is possible to determine whether items or body parts have been exposed to radiation. This can be imperative because accumulated radiation over time could lead to complications including cancer and other serious health issues that may not show up immediately but will still affect your life drastically.