Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

I Beyond the EM Spectrum

  1. Apr 13, 2017 #1
    Hello PF members,

    I'm currently working on a project alongside others who are interested in the topic of searching for wavelengths beyond the EM spectrum. We've been through countless piles of literature and seem to have a mixed opinion. Our question is simple (ironically):

    What type of technology would be required in order to look beyond Gamma rays and discover a new wavelength?
    We also have to keep it dummy friendly and so the less jargon the better, though we could sort that out once we've found relevant info.

    Thanks for reading :)
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 13, 2017 #2

    Nugatory

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Gamma rays are loosely defined as "anything that has a shorter wavelength than X-rays", so you whatever you find won't be beyond gamma rays, it'll be a more energetic gamma ray. Existing detection technologies, including cosmic ray observations, are capable of finding much more energetic rays than we've seen so far... So it's likely just a matter of time before we see something more energetic than what we have already seen.
     
  4. Apr 13, 2017 #3

    ZapperZ

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor
    2016 Award

    Er... re-read your post. What are "... wavelengths beyond the EM spectrum..."?

    Just because something is beyond "gamma rays" doesn't mean that it isn't part of the EM wave/spectrum.

    Zz.
     
  5. Apr 13, 2017 #4

    russ_watters

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    To say it another way, the classical spectrum is infinite by definition, stretching from wavelengths of zero to infinity. The wiki says there is a maximum wavelength of the width of the universe, though it strikes me that that's probably a fuzzy issue since the universe may be infinite today and even if it isn't is still expanding.
     
  6. Apr 13, 2017 #5

    mfb

    User Avatar
    2016 Award

    Staff: Mentor

    If the "countless piles of literature" didn't include a definition of gamma rays, I would look for better literature.

    The most high-energetic photons are found in cosmic rays - and photons with higher energy are simply less frequent. To study them, you need detectors covering larger areas and longer observation times. Both cost money, so it is not easy to extend the range of energies where photons can be studied reliably (finding "the most high-energetic photon" makes a nice press release, but not a nice scientific study).
     
  7. Apr 13, 2017 #6

    sophiecentaur

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    I have seen text books in which there is a definite overlap in the definition, shared by high end X rays and low end gamma rays. I always put that down to the sources of the radiation; those named 'gamma rays' being produced by nuclear transitions and the X rays coming from non-nuclear interactions. But you can never fully trust School text books. It's my old enemy Classification at work, confusing people.
     
  8. Apr 13, 2017 #7

    Nugatory

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    That's true, and just goes to show that classification is overrated :)
     
  9. Apr 13, 2017 #8

    sophiecentaur

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Indeed. A photon is a photon is a photon.
     
  10. Apr 15, 2017 #9
    indeed. A book is a book is a book

    But you can never fully trust School text books
     
  11. Apr 15, 2017 #10

    sophiecentaur

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    You need to scrutinise every word!
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?
Draft saved Draft deleted



Similar Discussions: Beyond the EM Spectrum
  1. EM spectrum (Replies: 8)

  2. EM spectrum (Replies: 4)

  3. Beyond the EM spectrum (Replies: 10)

Loading...