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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
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