But despite frequent theorizing to the contrary, the lower-frequency beams don't ionize ; they pack just enough punch to penetrate and reflect but not to separate electrons from atoms entirely.
In fairness, any radiation that can ionize an atom can affect chemical changes in a substance.
Making hydrogen atoms transparent to light involves a similar but much more energetic event: beams of energy must ionize the atoms, splitting them into protons and electrons.
Once removed from an atom, an electron may in turn ionize other atoms or molecules.
Other detectors depend on the electrons from a decay to ionize other atoms and produce an electric current proportional to the decay energy.
The complete spectrum of radiation from the sun contains a significant amount of high energy ultraviolet light and the energy of these photons is sufficient to ionize atoms or molecules.
The alpha particles emitted by the radioactive decay of the americium - 241 ionize the oxygen and nitrogen atoms present in the chamber, giving rise to free electrons and ions.
Radioactive elements in the sample or in the surrounding environment ionize the atoms in crystalline quartz, and the electrons become trapped by crystal defects.
When the charged particles of the solar wind hit the atmosphere, various gases present in the atmosphere heat up, split apart molecules, and ionize atoms.
In a neutral atom, the number of electrons is the same as the number of protons but atoms can be ionized , either oxidized or reduced, and end up with a different electron count.