Apr 29, 2016 · What is ionizing radiation? Ionizing radiation is a type of energy released by atoms that travels in the form of electromagnetic waves (gamma or X-rays) or particles (neutrons, beta or alpha). The spontaneous disintegration of atoms is called radioactivity, and the excess energy emitted is a form of ionizing radiation. Ionizing radiation (ionising radiation) is radiation that carries enough energy to detach electrons from atoms or molecules, thereby ionizing them. Ionizing radiation is made up of energetic subatomic particles, ions or atoms moving at high speeds (usually greater than 1% of the speed of light), May 24, 2019 · ‘Ionizing radiation’ is the given term for any wave or particle with the potential to cause harm to our bodies. They are ionizing because they possess high enough energy to ‘kick’ electrons out of other atoms and molecules, forming ions. We take a look at the forms of ionizing radiation below. Ionizing Radiation Definition. The term radiation means to give off energy as waves or particles. Ionizing radiation gives off energy by knocking electrons off atoms, which causes the atoms to have a charge. Another term for a charged particle is an ion. The charges on the atomic particles make ionizing radiation unstable and reactive. Ionizing radiation has so much energy it can knock electrons out of atoms, a process known as ionization. Ionizing radiation can affect the atoms in living things, so it poses a health risk by damaging tissue and DNA in genes. Ionizing radiation comes from x-ray machines, cosmic particles from outer space and radioactive elements. Radioactive elements emit ionizing radiation as their atoms undergo radioactive decay.