when is a gamma ray not a gamma ray?

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lyner

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when is a gamma ray not a gamma ray?
« on: 20/02/2007 16:53:46 »
There seems to be quite an overlap in the bands of electromagnetic radiation which are classed as X rays and as gamma rays.
You hear of gamma rays with energy of 1Mev and X rays with enery of 3MeV.
Is it just a matter of context and how they are produced? i.e. gamma rays come from nuclear decay and X rays are produced by fast electrons.
There's no way of telling, when one goes past, what to call it.

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Offline lightarrow

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when is a gamma ray not a gamma ray?
« Reply #1 on: 20/02/2007 17:37:39 »
There seems to be quite an overlap in the bands of electromagnetic radiation which are classed as X rays and as gamma rays.
You hear of gamma rays with energy of 1Mev and X rays with enery of 3MeV.
Is it just a matter of context and how they are produced? i.e. gamma rays come from nuclear decay and X rays are produced by fast electrons.
There's no way of telling, when one goes past, what to call it.
It's only a matter of convention, depending on the context, as you say. What really counts is the frequency (so, the energy).