Dictionary > Gamma ray

Gamma ray

Definition
noun, plural: gamma rays
Very powerful and penetrating, high-energy electromagnetic radiation of shorter wavelength than that of X-rays
Supplement
The electromagnetic spectrum pertains to the entire range of wavelengths of electromagnetic radiation. It includes gamma rays, X-rays, UV, visible light, infrared, microwaves, and radio waves.
Gamma radiation is the emission of gamma rays. Gamma rays are very powerful and penetrating, high-energy rays. They have the shortest wavelength (less than a nanometer) among the other forms of electromagnetic radiation. They are emitted by a decaying nucleus, usually between 0.01 and 10 mev. They are also called nuclear X-rays. They are denoted by the Greek letter γ. Gamma rays have energies greater than (roughly) 100 kev (that is, 100,000 electron volts).
Gamma rays are similar to X-rays, but are generally higher in energy and nuclear in origin. Gamma rays have wavelengths of 1 nanometre or shorter. These are highly energized, deeply penetrating photons which can be emitted from an atomic nucleus during nuclear fission (the splitting of an atom) and during regular atomic decay (radioactivity).
Synonym(s):

  • nuclear X-ray

See also:

  • gamma radiation
  • Exposure
  • Compton effect
  • Compton scattering
  • Spectroscopy mossbauer
  • Radionuclide
  • electromagnetic spectrum
  • electromagnetic radiation
  • radiation
  • light


    You will also like...

    The process of photosynthesis
    Photosynthesis – Photolysis and Carbon Fixation

    Photosynthesis is the process that plants undertake to create organic materials from carbon dioxide and water, with the ..

    An artist depiction of a Precambrian multicellular life form.
    The Evolution of Cell Organelles

    The nucleus containing the genetic material, DNA, and the mitochondria, well-identified as the "powerhouse of the cell",..

    DNA molecule
    Genetic Control – On and Off Genes

    Genes are the blueprint of our bodies, a blueprint that creates a variety of proteins essential to any organism's surviv..

    Growth and Plant Hormones
    Growth and Plant Hormones

    Plants, like animals, produce hormones to regulate plant activities, including growth. They need these hormones to respo..

    Stem
    Stems

    Stems primarily provide plants structural support. This tutorial includes lectures on the external form of a woody twig ..

    genes controlling growth and development
    Control of Growth & Development

    Control of Growth & Development tutorials look at how the genetic makeup determines the biological processes on a da..