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B The intensity of x-rays in a Coolidge tube

  1. Apr 4, 2017 #1
    I would like to understand the factors influencing the intensity of x-rays in Coolidge tube.
    One factor would be the intensity of current in the tube, e.g., the number of electrons emitted by the cathode (the filament), I have no problem with that factor.
    But I read that another factor is to be the applied voltage on the tube (the potential difference between the cathode and the anode). I have difficulty understanding the effect of the voltage on the intensity of x-rays, could some one please explain it for me?
    Thanks in advance!
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 4, 2017 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    Intensity usually refers to the energy per second carried by a beam of x-rays, light, etc. Increasing the current causes more electrons to strike the target per second, producing more x-ray photons per second. Increasing the voltage increases the energy of each electron as it strikes the target, increasing the energies of the produced photons. Either way, you get more energy per second in the x-ray beam.
  4. Apr 4, 2017 #3
    OK, I got it. Thank you!
  5. May 26, 2017 #4
    That's a very late reply, but I opened this thread and read it again, and I wondered whether changing the target element has an effect on the intensity too?
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