Photon

Mr Andrew Murphy et al.

A photon is, in simple terms, an elementary particle. It has a mass (rest mass) of zero and travels at the speed of light. It is defined as a stable particle, possessing no electric charge that exhibits both wavelike and particle-like properties, however, for the sake of this article photons will be referred to as 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 scattering ,photoelectric 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 an 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.


Share article

Article Information

rID: 52703
Section: Physics
Tag: physics
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:

Support Radiopaedia and see fewer ads

Updating… Please wait.
Loadinganimation

Alert accept

Error Unable to process the form. Check for errors and try again.

Alert accept Thank you for updating your details.