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Why don't we have gamma ray microscopes?

  1. Oct 23, 2016 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    Why? We can use shorter wavelengths than that of electrons to view electrons and more? What is stopping us? Can the image not be imprinted on a plate of some sort instead of being viewed by the eye directly?

    2. Relevant equations
    none

    3. The attempt at a solution
    I'm guessing no one invented a method to use these high energy photons yet
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 23, 2016 #2

    gneill

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    Staff: Mentor

    Is this an actual homework question or does it arise strictly out of curiosity?
     
  4. Oct 23, 2016 #3
    The question was saying that electron microscopes are better than light microscopes because of shorter wavelength used. optical microscopes use light in the visible range. But, why can't we use gamma rays and not view it directly with the eye. So I would say my homework influenced my curiosity
     
  5. Oct 23, 2016 #4

    gneill

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    Okay. I'd suggest that you do a little research (web search) on a related topic, namely that of gamma ray astronomy, and in particular, gamma ray telescopes. Pay attention to the detector technology employed and the resolution achievable. Also search on "gamma ray focusing".
     
  6. Oct 23, 2016 #5
    Ok thanks, you don't know? I'm lazy
     
  7. Oct 23, 2016 #6

    gneill

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    I do know, having done the reading in the past, but I'm also lazy. Now it's your turn :smile:
     
  8. Oct 23, 2016 #7
    Can you sum it up in one short sentence please? It doesn't have to explain everything, just the general reason why its not achievable...........yet
     
  9. Oct 23, 2016 #8
    :)
     
  10. Oct 23, 2016 #9

    gneill

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    That would be doing your research for you. I will say that the reasons why gamma ray astronomy is so difficult will be essentially the same as for microscopy. Your time won't be wasted spending five minutes with a search engine; the reasons are made apparent quickly.
     
  11. Oct 23, 2016 #10
    Ok thanks again, I will get around to it. From your experience, do you think it is possible though?
     
  12. Oct 23, 2016 #11
    Someone on reddit told me it is impossible to focus gamma rays
     
  13. Oct 23, 2016 #12

    gneill

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    I think it is possible but it will be some time before the resolution is anywhere near to what can be achieved by other techniques. I also think that what can be observed by the method will be very limited indeed. Gamma rays are not easily stopped, shadowed, focused, or particularly "friendly" to what they pass through (I don't think gamma ray reflection microscopy is in the cards for anything but certain metals or perhaps crystals).

    Everything on the internet is suspect (maybe especially me :smile:) Look for yourself at where I've directed you. You will find working gamma ray telescopes and focusing technologies discussed.
     
  14. Oct 23, 2016 #13
    Awesome, apparently we do not have mirrors sufficient enough for gamma ray microscopy (explanation from random redditor)
     
  15. Oct 24, 2016 #14

    DrClaude

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    Sorry, but this is not how we do things here. We will gladly help you learn, but we will not do your work for you. Please have a look at the forum rules, especially those related to homework.

    Also, you have another thread basically discussing the same thing. I will close this one.
    https://www.physicsforums.com/threads/electron-vs-photon-question-significance-of-momentum.890315/
     
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