# I What would happen if wavelength could go higher than gamma rays

#### Iceking20

Summary
How would very high energy(more than gamma ray)like infinite energy effect on its wavelength?
We can see wave lenght that get compress and get higher in height when they get high energy so how would wavelength react and it how it would look like when it gets high amount of energy(like infinite energy)?

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#### kuruman

Homework Helper
Gold Member
Summary: How would very high energy(more than gamma ray)like infinite energy effect on its wavelength?

We can see wave lenght that get compress and get higher in height when they get high energy so how would wavelength react and it how it would look like when it gets high amount of energy(like infinite energy)?
I assume you are talking about photons. The theory we have says that the energy is inversely proportional to the wavelength, the constant of proportionality being Planck's constant multiplied by the speed of light. Therefore, as the energy increases, the wavelength will get shorter, meaning it will have a smaller value. I don't know what you mean by "... get compress and get higher in height when they get high energy ..."; wavelengths don't have height.

#### PeterDonis

Mentor
like infinite energy
Infinite energy is not possible.

#### Jehannum

I think the problem here is mostly language difficulty, and the OP is just wondering what happens as you get increasingly higher energies, i.e. after UV, X-rays, gamma rays, ... what comes next?

For infinite energy you'd need infinite frequency and zero wavelength.

#### PeterDonis

Mentor
after UV, X-rays, gamma rays, ... what comes next?
More energetic gamma rays. "UV", "X-ray", "gamma ray" are just arbitrary labels put there for historical reasons anyway. The EM spectrum is continuous and nature doesn't care about the arbitrary boundaries humans draw.

#### kuruman

Homework Helper
Gold Member
I think the problem here is mostly language difficulty, and the OP is just wondering what happens as you get increasingly higher energies, i.e. after UV, X-rays, gamma rays, ... what comes next?

For infinite energy you'd need infinite frequency and zero wavelength.
Photon energy is not an independent variable that can be increased indefinitely. Photons of any energy are a result of a mechanism that produces them. Photons emitted as a result of electronic or nuclear transitions are limited by electronic or nuclear energy level differences. Photons produced by particle-antiparticle annihilation are limited by the total energy of the particles being annihilated. What kind of mechanism exists that could produce photons of higher and higher energy? Obviously, that energy cannot be infinite, so what are the limiting considerations? (At this point I am content to having asked the question; I defer the answer to those who understand particle physics better than I do.)

#### Dr.AbeNikIanEdL

What kind of mechanism exists that could produce photons of higher and higher energy? Obviously, that energy cannot be infinite, so what are the limiting considerations?

I don't think there is a real theoretical limit for photon energies from particle collisions, other than something like (half) the energy available in the universe. Practically of course, our ability to build larger and more powerful accelerators is very much limited, but that is just an engineering consideration, nothing that would have to do with how photons or pair annihilation work.

Anyway, this is all talking about energies in the rest frame of the production mechanism, you could have an arbitrary high energy by just considering a different frame.

#### Nugatory

Mentor
Photon energy is not an independent variable that can be increased indefinitely.
The energy is frame-dependent, so can be made arbitrarily large just by adopting a frame in which the source is moving towards us with sufficient speed. Blueshift will take it from there.

#### vanhees71

Gold Member
The great thing of physics is that it sometimes unifies apparently different things and makes everything much easier. All these names "UV", "X-rays", "Gamma rays" etc. etc. are just electromagnetic waves with wave lengths in some specific range. I think there's no specific name for em. radiation at higher and higher frequencies. I think everything higher energetic than X-rays is simply called Gamma rays. Have a look at

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electromagnetic_spectrum

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