1. Sep 13, 2011

### Billy70

Hello everyone, first time poster.

A fairly basic question: What is the mechanism by which synchrotrons produce x-rays? (in more detail than e-beam + varying magnetic flux = x-rays)

I'm also still confused as to whether the mechanism is unique to magnetic fields or the same as Bremmstrahlung radiation, although even regarding that I'm coming across conflicting information on whether it is the retardation of the electrons or the interaction between electrons and the electric fields around atoms that produces radiation.

When reading about the Maxwell equations I can find more derivations than I can shake a stick at, however a nice, layman's terms explanation seems to be lacking.

Replies very much appreciated, condescending replies not so much, but expected since this is pretty fundamental.

Billy

2. Sep 13, 2011

### chrisbaird

I don't know if I can give you more understanding then you already have without going into Maxwell's equations, but I will try. The varying magnetic fields used to confine the particles to a circular (or near-circular) track do not directly create x-rays. They are varying too slowly for this. What they do accomplish is to exert a force on the charged particles to keep them bending around the circular track. Charged particles that are accelerating radiate electromagnetic waves.

You can think of there being a radial electric field line pattern attached to every charged particle. When a particle jumps forward (accelerates), due to cause-and-effect and the finite speed of everything, the field lines far away from the particle jump forward later then the field lines close to the particle. This creates kinks in the electric field lines which travel away like waves on a string, and an electromagnetic wave is born.

3. Sep 13, 2011

### xts

Every electric charge emits radiation when accelerating. Magnetic flux has no direct importance - it just causes the beam to bend, thus to accelerate charged particles with centriprocal force.

You are right - synchrotron radiation is a kind of Bremsstrahlung radiation.

You should try really good classical (40 years old) article by Ginzburg http://cdsads.u-strasbg.fr/cgi-bin/nph-bib_query?bibcode=1969ARA&A...7..375G
- no one may explain synchrotron radiation better in a quick response on the forum.

4. Sep 14, 2011

### Billy70

Thanks very much guys. Excellent explanations that have cleared it up nicely.