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Question

Why X-rays and Gamma-rays are different in nature, though both are of eletromagnetic origin?
Asked by: Buddhadev Mukherjee

Answer

Gamma rays refer to electromagnetic radiation from nuclear interactions while X-rays come from atomic interactions. But they are both high energy electromagnetic radiation and, if you didn't already know the source, you couldn't tell for sure if a particular photon was a gamma-ray or an X-ray. Gammas tend to be higher in energy since nuclear binding potentials are larger than atomic potentials but there is overlap in the two spectra.
Answered by: Tom Swanson, Ph.D. Physics, Oregon State University






Science Quote

'A theory with mathematical beauty is more likely to be correct than an ugly one that fits some experimental data. God is a mathematician of a very high order, and He used very advanced mathematics in constructing the universe.'

Paul Dirac
(1902-1984)





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