A Field Guide to Radiation

A Field Guide to Radiation

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Additional Formats
  • Paperback
  • ISBN 9780143121275
  • 288 Pages
  • Penguin Books
  • Adult


A comprehensive and accessible guide to understanding how radiation affects our everyday lives

Nuclear energy, X-rays, radon, cell phones . . . radiation is part of the way we live on a daily basis, and yet the sources and repercussions of our exposure to it remain mysterious. Now Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Wayne Biddle offers a first-of-its-kind guide to understanding this fundamental aspect of the universe. From fallout to radiation poisoning, alpha particles to cosmic rays, Biddle illuminates the history, meaning, and health implications of one hundred scientific terms in succinct, witty essays. A Field Guide to Radiation is an essential, engaging handbook that offers wisdom and common sense for today’s increasingly nuclear world.


“One big problem with man-made radiation: It isn’t going away any time soon. Even if all nuclear reactors were halted and decommissioned tomorrow, the radioactive material that fueled them would remain deadly for tens of thousands of years. So, it’s best to get used to it. In A Field Guide to Radiation, Wayne Biddle provides an overview of man-made radiation, decoding the terminology and helping readers to understand the difference between beryllium and beta particles (the former being relatively benign).”

The Washington Post

“Witty, succinct and handily organized in an A–Z format.”


“An indispensable volume for every library. . . . A very readable mini-encyclopedia.”