Electromagnetic radiation/Talk

< Electromagnetic radiation

HomePage | Recent changes | View source | Discuss this page | Page history | Log in |

Printable version | Privacy policy

How it is possible that some gamma rays have longer wave length than some x-rays? They would be called x-rays then, wouldn't they? Or is there some definition of gamma rays which does not refer to wavelength? --AxelBoldt


My understanding is that at least originally, gamma-ray was the name given to the photons generated from nuclear decay. X-rays on the other hand were generated by electronic transitions involving highly energetic inner electrons. Therefore the distinction between gamma-ray and x-ray is related to the radiation source rather than the radiation wavelength. Generally, nuclear transitions are much more energetic than electronic transitions, so most gamm-rays are more energetic than x-rays. However, there are a few low-energy nuclear transitions (eg. the 14.4 keV nuclear transition of Fe-57) that produce gamma-rays that are less energetic than some of the higher energy x-rays.

--Matt Stoker


The 'conflict' with some gamma rays having longer wave length than some X-rays arises becauses we use the terms (gamma ray and X-ray) for both i) certain parts of the electromagnetic radiation spectrum and ii) electromagnetic radiation from certain processes. --Css



The recently added section titled "What causes electromagnetic spectrums" would probably be more appropriate on a page about Spectroscopy. In my opinion the electromagnetic radiation page should be constrained more to a discussion of the properties of the radiation itself, perhaps with references to spectroscopy and other uses of the radiation. Also, the new section needs some work, since emission and absorption of quanta are not only associated with electronic transitions, but are also associated with rotational, vibrational, and nuclear transitions. Also the section titled "Temperature" has some problems, since the continuous spectrum is not due to doppler broadening of atomic emissions, but is more likely due to vibrational emissions. --Matt Stoker

I have moved my section to spectroscopy - I agree this seems more relevant. I was also dubious of the doppler effect being the cause of continuous spectrum but it was the only cause I could find. Thanks for advice. -- sodium


This article is very similiar in topic to Electromagnetic spectrum -- The Anome