Which is most likely to burn you? Microwaves, gamma rays or x rays?
Asked by: Robyn Lewis
Why do you get burnt by radiation? It is because
the radiation interacts with the stuff in your
body (mostly water). Gamma rays have energies that
are too high to interact (change the energy
levels) of molecules, X-rays interact with mainly
atoms (like the calcium in your bones) - though
both the above can lead to cancer if exposure is
more than a safe dose.
The case is different with microwaves - the
rotational and vibrational energies of molecules lie in their
range - they can heat up the water in your cells
just like the microwave radiation in an oven heats
So, microwaves would probably do the most damage to your
Answered by: Amar Chandra, Physics Undergraduate, IIT Kanpur
'Nothing in this world is to be feared... only understood.'