Distingiush between x-ray and gamma ray
The difference between gamma rays and X-rays is in the frequency of the electromagnetic radiation. [ Gamma rays and X-rays are both types of electromagnetic radiation, and gamma rays are higher on the frequency spectrum, and have more energy than X-rays. Use the links below for more information. More specific answer: The answer above is true to a rudimentary level. However, if you look at the electromagnetic (EM) spectrum, X-ray and gamma rays overlap over a certain range. At this point, the two rays are identical in terms of EM properties (at any given point on the spectrum, the energy,
frequency, and wavelength of the EM wave are directly proportional). For example, a 140 MeV X-ray is identical to a 140 MeV gamma ray. Any wave/photon with the same energy is also going to have the same wavelength and frequency. (Use the equation E=h*c/lambda, where h is planck's constant, c is the speed of light, and lambda is the wavelength. As a result, the only difference between ALL x-rays and gamma rays are the origin of the ray itself. X-rays originate from the electron shell, gamma rays originate from the nucleus. This is the true definition of what the difference is between X-rays and gamma rays. It is not enough to say that gamma rays are higher up than x-rays on the EM spectrum. ONLY SOME ARE. What happens is that, in the case of gamma rays, the photon results when the nucleus comes down from the excited state that results from some kind of nuclear reaction, such as alpha decay, beta decay, fission, fusion, or some other kind of interaction that does something to excite the nucleus. The resulting energy of that photon is the step-wise change of the nucleus in coming down back to the state it "wants" to have. In the case of x-rays, the electron cloud also has a ground state, where all of the positions in all of the shells are filled, up to the limits of the available electrons. If you add energy to the cloud, electrons move up, and we call that an excited state. It wants to come back down. ]
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Updated 2/8/2014 10:27:07 AM
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