Radiation

The emission and propagation of energy through space or through a material medium in the form of waves (e.g., the emission and propagation of electromagnetic waves, or of sound and elastic waves). The term radiation or radiant energy, when unqualified, usually refers to electromagnetic radiation. Such radiation commonly is classified according to frequency, as microwaves, infrared, visible (light), ultraviolet, and x and gamma rays (see Photon.) and, by extension, corpuscular emission, such as alpha and beta radiation, neutrons, or rays of mixed or unknown type, as cosmic radiation.