Penetration of Matter

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    The electromagnetic gamma ray is extremely penetrating, even penetrating considerable thicknesses of concrete.

    The ability to penetrate is energy dependent.

    Highly energetic gamma rays such as those from Co-60 (average 1.25 MeV) require much more shielding than less energetic gamma rays such as those from I-125 (35 keV).

    Regardless of energy, it is impossible to shield a gamma ray completely.

    Shielding is usually designed to reduce gamma ray breakthrough to background radiation levels.


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