That portion of the electromagnetic spectrum immediately below the visible range and extending into the x-ray frequencies. The longer wavelengths (near-UV or biotic or vital rays) are necessary for the endogenous synthesis of vitamin D and are also called antirachitic rays; the shorter, ionizing wavelengths (far-UV or abiotic or extravital rays) are viricidal, bactericidal, mutagenic, and carcinogenic and are used as disinfectants.
Penetrating, high-energy electromagnetic radiation emitted from atomic nuclei during NUCLEAR DECAY. The range of wavelengths of emitted radiation is between 0.1 - 100 pm which overlaps the shorter, more energetic hard X-RAYS wavelengths. The distinction between gamma rays and X-rays is based on their radiation source.