Examples include heat or sunlight, microwaves in an oven, x-rays from an x-ray tube, and gamma rays from radioactive elements. Ionizing radiation is a form of energy that works by removing electrons from atoms and molecules of materials including air, water, and living tissue. Ionizing radiation can travel unseen and pass through these materials. It is on the right side of the electromagnetic spectrum in the following figure.
Electromagnetic radiation refers to energy that travels in waves through space at the speed of light. The electromagnetic radiation can be ionizing or non-ionizing radiation depending on its frequency. Non-ionizing radiation is also a type of electromagnetic radiation. This type of radiation doesn't have enough energy to release electrons.
Non-ionizing radiation can come from both natural and artificial sources. Natural sources of ionizing radiation include radiation in the environment of rocks and soil, as well as cosmic radiation from space. These radiation sources are called background radiation. Since most ionized atoms are due to secondary beta particles, photons are indirect ionizing radiation.
The boundary between ionizing and non-ionizing radiation in the ultraviolet area is not clearly defined, since different molecules and atoms ionize at different energies. Ionizing radiation (or ionizing radiation), including nuclear radiation, consists of subatomic particles or electromagnetic waves that have enough energy to ionize atoms or molecules by separating electrons from them.