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How does shielding work in radiation protection?

Shielding works by absorbing or deflecting radiation, reducing the amount that reaches a person.

Radiation shielding is a crucial aspect of radiation protection. Shielding materials are used to reduce the amount of radiation that reaches a person or object. The amount of shielding required depends on the type of radiation, its energy, and the distance from the source.

There are three types of radiation: alpha, beta, and gamma. Alpha particles can be stopped by a sheet of paper or the outer layer of skin, while beta particles can be stopped by a few millimetres of aluminium. Gamma rays, however, are much more penetrating and require thicker shielding materials such as lead or concrete.

The effectiveness of a shielding material is measured by its half-value layer (HVL), which is the thickness of the material required to reduce the radiation intensity by half. The HVL depends on the type and energy of the radiation, as well as the density and atomic number of the shielding material.

In addition to reducing radiation exposure, shielding can also be used to contain radioactive materials. This is achieved by using sealed containers made of suitable shielding materials.

Overall, shielding is an essential tool in radiation protection, helping to reduce the risks associated with exposure to ionizing radiation.

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