Differences between X-rays and Gamma rays

In summary, electromagnetic radiation, including both X-rays and gamma rays, can be produced by either electrons or nuclei. However, in Bremsstrahlung process, both X-rays and gamma rays are produced by decelerating electrons, making them more similar to each other. The names "X-rays" and "gamma rays" are just labels for different ranges of frequencies within the electromagnetic spectrum and do not necessarily correspond to the source of the radiation.
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Rev. Cheeseman
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Some people said if it is originated from electrons then it is X-ray but if it is originated from the nucleus it is Gamma ray. But people can produced X-rays and Gamma rays by Bremsstrahlung process and in Bremsstrahlung process it is resulted from decelerating or braking electrons. So, Gamma rays produced via Bremsstrahlung are more similar to X-rays as it is produced by electrons. Why people still calling them Gamma rays although it is not generated from the nucleus?
 
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  • #3
The last time this got asked I discovered that some sources regard gamma rays as "anything produced from the nucleus" and x rays as "anything produced from the electrons beyond UV", while some sources do as @vanhees71 says and label anything above a certain frequency as gamma rays. I think the latter is more common, especially as we now understand clearly that it's all just EM and the source doesn't really make a difference. I'd presume whatever source you are reading about Bremsstrahlung is using that definition too.

Either way, it's just a label. It's all photons.
 
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  • #4
Indeed, em. decays of nuclei are usually in the ##\gamma##-ray range. That's actually, where the name comes from, because it was one of the three known kinds of nuclear decay, dubbed ##\alpha##-, ##\beta##-, and ##\gamma##-radiation.

An important exception is Thorium-229:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_clock#The_history_of_the_nuclear_clock

See particularly Reference 6+7 therein.
 
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What are X-rays and Gamma rays?

X-rays and Gamma rays are types of electromagnetic radiation that have high energy and short wavelengths. They are both forms of ionizing radiation, meaning they have enough energy to remove electrons from atoms.

What are the main differences between X-rays and Gamma rays?

The main differences between X-rays and Gamma rays lie in their origins and the way they interact with matter. X-rays are produced by accelerating electrons, while Gamma rays are emitted from the nucleus of an atom. X-rays are able to penetrate through soft tissues, while Gamma rays are more penetrating and can even pass through thick layers of lead.

What are the uses of X-rays and Gamma rays?

X-rays are commonly used in medical imaging, such as X-rays of bones and teeth, as well as in airport security scanners. Gamma rays are used in cancer treatment, sterilization of medical equipment, and in industrial applications such as detecting defects in metal parts.

What are the potential health risks associated with X-rays and Gamma rays?

X-rays and Gamma rays can both cause damage to living cells, leading to potential health risks such as radiation sickness, DNA damage, and an increased risk of cancer. However, the risk of harm is dependent on the dose and duration of exposure.

Can X-rays and Gamma rays be shielded?

Both X-rays and Gamma rays can be shielded by dense materials such as lead or concrete. The thickness of the material needed for effective shielding depends on the energy and intensity of the radiation. For example, thicker shielding is needed for Gamma rays compared to X-rays.

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