# K-alpha xrays, potential difference

• mateomy
In summary, the conversation is about estimating the minimum potential difference required to observe the K_alpha X rays of copper in an X-ray tube. The individual used an equation to calculate the value and got 11,441 eV, which is equivalent to 11 keV or 11 kV. They are unsure if it is the correct answer and ask for confirmation. The other person agrees and confirms that the formula used was correct.
mateomy
Just want someone to check my work. I suspect I didn't do it right.The question is from Krane's Modern Physics Chapter 8, prob. 9In an X-ray tube electrons strike a target after being accelerated through a potential difference V. Estimate the minimum value of V required to observe the $K_\alpha$ X rays of copper.

Well, I know that in order to have the emission of a K-alpha x-ray an electron from 1s would need to be "knocked" from its place. And that can only be achieved by an incoming particle (in this case another electron) of the same energy level. So what I did was utilize this equation:

$$E_n = \frac{-Z^2 R_\infty}{n^2}$$

I got a value of 11,441 eV, using Z=29, the Rydberg constant, and n=1. The back of the book says 11 kV. I know initially it says "estimate.." so I'm wondering if I got it right or if it was coincidentally close to the back-of-the-book answer. And if wrong, what would be a better line of attack.

Thank you.

11,441 eV, rounded to keV, is just 11 keV, and this corresponds to 11 kV.

Awesome. Thanks!

## What are K-alpha x-rays?

K-alpha x-rays are a type of electromagnetic radiation that are produced when an electron transitions from the K-shell to the L-shell in an atom. This transition results in the emission of a photon with a specific energy, which corresponds to the K-alpha x-ray.

## How are K-alpha x-rays produced?

K-alpha x-rays are produced through a process called electron excitation. This occurs when an electron from a higher energy level drops down to a lower energy level, releasing a photon in the process. In the case of K-alpha x-rays, the electron transitions from the K-shell to the L-shell.

## What is potential difference?

Potential difference, also known as voltage, is the difference in electric potential energy per unit charge between two points in an electrical circuit. It is measured in volts (V) and is a measure of the electrical potential energy required to move a unit of charge from one point to another.

## How does potential difference affect K-alpha x-rays?

Potential difference plays a crucial role in the production of K-alpha x-rays. In order for electron excitation to occur and for K-alpha x-rays to be emitted, a potential difference must be applied to the atom. This potential difference provides the necessary energy for the electron to transition between energy levels.

## What is the relationship between potential difference and the energy of K-alpha x-rays?

The energy of K-alpha x-rays is directly proportional to the potential difference applied to the atom. This means that increasing the potential difference will result in an increase in the energy of the emitted K-alpha x-rays. Therefore, potential difference is a key factor in controlling the energy and intensity of K-alpha x-rays in scientific experiments.

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