I'm a bit confused about the way radiation is said to 'transfer' its energy to matter. I must be looking at it the wrong way, so I'd appreciate it if someone could explain what I am missing. I don't see how energy is transferred to atoms through ionization. The way I see it is charged particles like alphas and betas interact with atoms by either exciting the atom or causing an electron to be completely stripped from its shell. For excitation, I think I get it, the energy is lost in vibrations of the atom. But when ionization occurs, isn't the energy now transferred only to the stripped electron as kinetic energy? Or is it just some of the energy, with the rest causing the positively charged part of the ion pair to be energized somehow? This is also the way I look at gamma energy, imparting its energy to an electron via photoelectric interactions which will then go on to cause further ionizations. Don't we say that the energy of the photoelectron is equal to the energy of the gamma ray? Same thing with compton scatter, only the kinetic energy of the electron is now less than it would be in a photoelectric event, and there is a lower energy gamma now floating around. Now how do these electrons which are stripped deposit their energy? I just see them going on to cause more ionizations in an endless cycle of ionization.Any explanations would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.