Information on radioactivity, protection from radiation and geiger counters

The goal of this site is to offer simple explanations of radioactivity and describe the basics of how to protect oneself from nuclear radiation, including an understanding of how a Geiger counter functions.

Select from the following categories:

Isotopes and Elements - the Atomic Nucleus
Radioactivity is caused by unstable atomic nuclei. A description of the structure of atoms and of the forces that act within them is provided, followed by explanations of elements and isotopes that will be helpful in understanding the technical language being used in the media.

Radioactive decay
A brief explanation of the ways in which unstable atomic nuclei can decay. The resulting types of nuclear radiation, alpha (α), beta (β), and gamma (γ), are described.

Biological effects
The effects of nuclear radiation on biological systems are briefly discussed.

Hazardous isotopes
This section discusses several of the hazardous isotopes that occur initially and extensively during nuclear reactor accidents.

Protective measures
Steps to take in the event of a nuclear reactor accident are presented briefly.

Geiger counters
The operation of a Geiger counter is briefly explained.

More information
This section points to books that provide interesting and more extensive information on nuclear radiation. A brief pictorial and verbal description of actual Geiger counters is also provided..