Radiation and matter
discusses the interaction between radiation and matter, its affect
on tissues and the importance of dose.
When radiation passes through matter, it deposits energy in the material concerned.
Alpha and beta particles, being electrically charged, deposit energy through electrical interactions with electrons in the material.
Gamma rays and X rays lose energy in a variety of ways,
but each involves liberating atomic (orbiting) electrons, which then deposit
interactions with other electrons.
Neutrons also lose energy in various ways, the most important being through collisions with nuclei that contain protons.
The protons are then set in motion and, being charged, they again deposit energy through electrical interactions.
So in all cases,
the radiation ultimately produces electrical interactions in