Related topics: black holes · radiation · wavelength · protein · laser

Ion pairings change honeycomb crystal states

Tohoku University researchers have observed a rare change in the structure of a mineral-like crystal that, if controlled, could lead to the development of new functional materials. The findings were reported in the Journal ...

Solving a crystal's structure when you've only got powder

Crystals reveal the hidden geometry of molecules to the naked eye. Scientists use crystals to figure out the atomic structure of new materials, but many can't be grown large enough. Now, a team of researchers report a new ...

Diurnal oxidation for manganese minerals in the Arctic Ocean

Manganese is an important element for all life, but it plays an especially critical role in photosynthesis, in which it is the catalyst for splitting oxygen molecules from water. In the ocean—where phytoplankton is a key ...

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X-ray

X-radiation (composed of X-rays) is a form of electromagnetic radiation. X-rays have a wavelength in the range of 10 to 0.01 nanometers, corresponding to frequencies in the range 30 petahertz to 30 exahertz (3 × 1016 Hz to 3 × 1019 Hz) and energies in the range 120 eV to 120 keV. They are shorter in wavelength than UV rays. In many languages, X-radiation is called Röntgen radiation after Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen, who is generally credited as their discoverer, and who had called them X-rays to signify an unknown type of radiation.:1-2

X-rays are primarily used for diagnostic radiography and crystallography. As a result, the term X-ray is metonymically used to refer to a radiographic image produced using this method, in addition to the method itself. X-rays are a form of ionizing radiation and as such can be dangerous.

X-rays from about 0.12 to 12 keV are classified as soft X-rays, and from about 12 to 120 keV as hard X-rays, due to their penetrating abilities.

The distinction between X-rays and gamma rays has changed in recent decades. Originally, the electromagnetic radiation emitted by X-ray tubes had a longer wavelength than the radiation emitted by radioactive nuclei (gamma rays). So older literature distinguished between X- and gamma radiation on the basis of wavelength, with radiation shorter than some arbitrary wavelength, such as 10−11 m, defined as gamma rays. However, as shorter wavelength continuous spectrum "X-ray" sources such as linear accelerators and longer wavelength "gamma ray" emitters were discovered, the wavelength bands largely overlapped. The two types of radiation are now usually defined by their origin: X-rays are emitted by electrons outside the nucleus, while gamma rays are emitted by the nucleus.

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