Dr Mark Thurston and Andrew Murphy et al.

A photon is, in simple terms, an elementary particle. It has a zero mass (rest mass) and travels at the speed of light. It is defined as stable with no electric charge and exhibits both wavelike and particle-like properties. For the sake of this article, a photon refers to an uncharged particle used to describe the particle portion of an electromagnetic wave.

X-ray photon

An x-ray photon has a wavelength of 0.01 to 10 nanometers, with a frequency of 3×1016 Hz to 3×1019 Hz. It possesses enough energy (100 eV to 100 keV) to disrupt molecular bonds and ionize atoms making it, by definition, ionizing radiation.

These x-ray photons will interact with matter through Compton scatteringphotoelectric absorption, and Rayleigh scattering.

The wavelength of a photon is identical to the wavelength of the electromagnetic wave it is described to be a part of.

Production of x-ray photons

X-ray photons are most often generated in a vacuum sealed x-ray tube, using a high voltage potential to accelerate electrons from a cathode to a spinning anode, often comprised of tungsten.

The energy of the x-ray photon is defined by the voltage in the tube multiplied by the electron charge for example 100 kV will only create x-ray photons with a maximum energy 100 KeV.

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Article information

rID: 52703
Section: Physics
Tag: physics
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