What is a gamma ray simple definition?

What is a gamma ray? A gamma ray is electromagnetic radiation of the shortest wavelength and highest energy. Gamma-ray radiation has wavelengths generally smaller than a few tenths of an angstrom (1010 meter), and gamma-ray photons have energies greater than tens of thousands of electron volts.

What is the best definition of gamma radiation?

Gamma radiation (gamma rays) refers to the part of the electromagnetic spectrum with the most energy and shortest wavelength. Astrophysicists define gamma radiation as any radiation with an energy above 100 keV. Physicists define gamma radiation as high-energy photons released by nuclear decay.

What is gamma rays and its uses?

Gamma rays are ionizing electromagnetic radiation, obtained by the decay of an atomic nucleus. Gamma rays are more penetrating, in matter, and can damage living cells to a great extent. Gamma rays are used in medicine (radiotherapy), industry (sterilization and disinfection) and the nuclear industry.

What are gamma rays definition for kids?

Gamma rays are kind-of like light, which is a form of energy that travels in waves. Gamma rays have a LOT more energy than light and you cannot see them. Any energy that travels in waves is a form of radiation and is part of the electromagnetic spectrum.

What causes gamma rays?


They are produced by the hottest and most energetic objects in the universe, such as neutron stars and pulsars, supernova explosions, and regions around black holes. On Earth, gamma waves are generated by nuclear explosions, lightning, and the less dramatic activity of radioactive decay.

What are gamma rays made of?

Gamma rays (γ) are weightless packets of energy called photons. Unlike alpha and beta particles, which have both energy and mass, gamma rays are pure energy. Gamma rays are similar to visible light, but have much higher energy. Gamma rays are often emitted along with alpha or beta particles during radioactive decay.

How are gamma rays harmful?

Gamma rays remove electrons from atoms. Because of this, they are a form of radiation known as ionizing radiation. Studies show that radiation can damage DNA, and this damage can lead to cancer.

What is the symbol for gamma ray?

alpha particles (α) beta particles (β) gamma rays (γ)

What is gamma radiation BBC Bitesize?

gamma radiation is high energy electromagnetic waves emitted from unstable nuclei; gamma radiation easily passes through air, paper, skin and aluminium but can be partly blocked by thick lead or concrete; leaves mass number and atomic number unchanged; gamma rays produce the least ionization.

What is an example of gamma decay?

The γ-decay of barium-137. In this example, the parent atom is lowered in energy. 2. The γ-decay of plutonium-240.

Are gamma rays harmful?

Gamma rays are the most harmful external hazard. Beta particles can partially penetrate skin, causing “beta burns”. Alpha particles cannot penetrate intact skin. Gamma and x-rays can pass through a person damaging cells in their path.

What is the frequency of gamma radiation?

about 10^19 cycles per second
Gamma rays have frequencies greater than about 10^19 cycles per second, or hertz (Hz), and wavelengths of less than 100 picometers (pm), or 4 x 10^9 inches. (A picometer is one-trillionth of a meter.)

How do gamma rays affect humans?

Gamma rays can pass completely through the human body; as they pass through, they can cause ionizations that damage tissue and DNA.

How far do gamma rays travel?

Gamma rays can be emitted from the nucleus of an atom during radioactive decay. They are able to travel tens of yards or more in air and can easily penetrate the human body. Shielding this very penetrating type of ionizing radiation requires thick, dense material such as several inches of lead or concrete.

What can block gamma rays?

Gamma waves can be stopped by a thick or dense enough layer material, with high atomic number materials such as lead or depleted uranium being the most effective form of shielding.

How do gamma rays damage DNA?

Gamma radiation is well recognized as a potent carcinogen due to its potential of oxidative damage (Toule, 1987; Morgan et al., 1996). It causes a variety of lesions in DNA including single- and double-strand breaks, DNA-protein cross-links, oxidized bases and abasic sites (Cadet et al., 1999; UNSCEAR, 2000a).

What is the symbol for gamma-ray?

alpha particles (α) beta particles (β) gamma rays (γ)