Properties: – Visible to the human eye, comes in a range of colours Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet. Cannot pass through solid objects. Can be focused to make lasers. Uses: – Medical uses (small incisions, removal of tattoos, correcting vision etc), in industry making precise parts, making plasmas, the military is using lasers as powerful weapons capable of incinerating enemy troops.
Dangers: – Lasers can be harmful damaging vision and causing burns and cuts, dangerous gases can be leaked form a laser. Protection: – Protective goggles and other equipment. UV Properties: – Causes cancer in humans, birds and other animals can see them, they cause reactions in plants, can make substances stand out under a ‘black light’, causes the skin to produce vitamin D. Uses: – Medical uses (can kill bacteria), used to treat acne, learning about distant stars by the UV they give off.
Dangers: – Eye irritation, sunburn, and cancer. Cell mutation and destruction of the ozone layer. Protection: – Sunglasses and sun cream. X-rays Properties: – Can pass through some solid objects but not others, causes cell mutations, in some very rare circumstances can be visible. Uses: – Medical uses (X rays), at airports to check luggage, examining objects encrusted in something (artefacts). Dangers: – Cancer, skin burns, reduction of the blood supply and destruction of living tissue.
Protection:- Lead plates. Gamma rays Properties: – Created by collisions of particles, many normal objects that are slightly radioactive give off gamma rays including rocks. Uses: – Medical uses (killing tissue), detecting damage to metallic castings, used in nuclear bombs. Dangers: – Cancer and other serious mutation problems. Contrary to popular belief: WARNING: No amount of gamma radiation will give you super powers. Protection: – 1/4 inch of lead.