We continue to know each electromagnetic radiation, and with it structuring our essential electromagnetic spectrum, for this objective we start from our referential spectral fraction, ie, white or visible light, this fraction has allowed us to understand the essential phenomenon of light and thus we have spread any kind of scientific methodology to the other electromagnetic fractions, this although we can not observe them with our natural optical systems (eyes).
Therefore, we continue with the analysis of the rays or radiations invisible to our eyes, to be able to continue shaping in a general way the electromagnetic spectrum, either the imperceptible one or the visible one for our eyes, from the invisible rays to our eyes we have already known the Ultraviolet rays, Infrared rays, X-rays, Microwave radiations and now we will analyze in a general way the powerful gamma rays.
As in the other deliveries, the strip of visible light to our eyes (white or visible light) remains our essential reference point for the understanding of all those rays or radiations that make up the aforementioned electromagnetic spectrum, so far we have shown that most of these rays we can not see, however, have been very useful for our most essential development and growth as humanity.
In the previous article related to the microwave radiation, we could observe the characteristic of imperceptibility and at the same time its great impact in our daily activities knowing some of its applications, highlighting in each of these analyses the amount of energy of such rays or radiations, establishing that the same (energy) is inversely proportional to the wavelength of such rays or electromagnetic radiations.
In the same way we will continue to guide ourselves with the conceptualization of a light ray whose propagation is in a straight line, without forgetting our physical optics and its characterization in terms of the wavelengths, and these, as we have already expressed, allow us to determine the amount of energy present in these rays or electromagnetic radiation.
Taking into account our reference point, visible light, we can express that we have jumped from one end to the other of this electromagnetic spectrum, therefore, finding ourselves with rays or radiations either of lower or higher wavelength than those belonging to our reference spectrum.
According to the above, we have grouped the rays or radiations of longer wavelengths to the right side of our white light, where we already have the infrared rays (IR) and microwaves, on the left side has been placed to the rays or radiations of shorter wavelengths and so far we are with the ultraviolet rays (UV), X rays (R-X) and now insert the powerful gamma rays.
If we move away by the left band of our visible light we will find rays or radiations with more energy than the previous bands, mainly with more energy than our visible spectrum, in this way we can express that the gamma rays have less wavelength than the X rays, and therefore, they are even more ionizing than these X rays.
X-rays and gamma rays due to their high amount of energy are considered ionizing radiation, and this is due to the fact that when they hit some tissue they can make it lose some of its energy and thus separate certain electrons from certain atoms (transforming them into ions) components of the molecules of such tissues.
It is vital to be able to continue expressing that humanity has managed to implement these rays or radiations belonging to the electromagnetic spectrum in its favor, and with this it has been able to take gigantic steps in the search for its development, and the gamma rays are found in this essential list of electromagnetic radiations that have facilitated our existence and understanding of our innermost universe.
It is important to always keep in mind that we must be careful with the exposure to these rays or radiation, either non-ionizing or ionizing, such characteristics have been highlighted in each of the previous articles in order to prevent any type of injury or disease on our body or our skin.
In the same way as we have done in the previous articles related to ultraviolet, infrared, X-rays and microwaves, we will continue using the essential fundamental principle of physical optics, that is, the one that expresses that the phenomenon of light is an electromagnetic radiation, and with it, we have called it radiant energy, besides we will implement in the same way the essential principle of geometric optics, that is, its conceptualization of ray with rectilinear propagation.
We already have our guide, that is to say, the spectral fraction of white light, and in this way to carry out the analysis of the gamma rays, these rays are the most energetic that we have known, this takes us to their wavelength which is even less than that of the X-rays, not to mention our visible spectrum, and therefore, these rays are much more penetrating than the X-rays, and at the same time more ionizing than these.
In relation to the above, we can say that the rays or gamma radiation are of the same or similar nature as our white light and therefore also similar to rays or radiations such as ultraviolet light (UV), infrared (IR), X-rays, and microwaves, all of which differ in their wavelengths, and consequently in their energetic quantity.
According to the energetic quantity of these electromagnetic radiations, we can say that some are more penetrating than others, as it is the case of the X rays, and now the gamma rays, next we will relate the capacity of penetrability of the visible light, X rays and gamma rays in the following figure 1.
Figure 1. Gamma rays and their great penetrability
In the previous figure 1, we could easily observe how the powerful gamma rays, due to their great energetic quantity, have a greater range of penetrability than X-rays, and of course than visible light, demonstrating then that these gamma rays are the most energetic in our electromagnetic spectrum, and therefore, the most careful when we are exposed to it.
Then, according to the characteristics described above, gamma rays also belong to the family of our electromagnetic spectrum, and thus propagate in the form of waves following a rectilinear directionality in the same way that our white or visible light does, highlighting again, that both radiations are differentiated by their wavelengths, one much shorter (gamma rays) than the other (visible light).
The penetrability behavior of these rays, has allowed us to implement it in essential areas linked to all humanity as it is medicine, therefore, accompany the X-rays as the radiations present and used in that area, all this despite being able to impact negatively on our body (when we are exposed to them for a long time), such action we have been able to reverse and direct it towards positive applications such as the treatment of some types of cancer.
These rays or gamma radiations, we can express that they are very similar to the X rays, differing in their wavelengths as it has been described, and also as far as its action in the matter, since this action of the gamma rays will take place in the nucleus of a certain atom, whereas the one of the X rays will originate in the outer layers of the atom, where, the electrons are located, next we will show the interaction of the gamma rays with the matter in the following figure 2.
Figure 2. Ionizing capacity of gamma rays in matter
Some isotope elements (atoms of the same element, and these differ in the amount of neutrons) such as uranium, plutonium, cobalt can emit this type of gamma radiation, where cobalt-60 is used to sterilize essential medical equipment, as for the gamma radiations that originate in the highest part of our outer universe do not reach the earth because they are captured, blocked or absorbed by the dense and high atmosphere that surrounds our planet, next we will show a form of manifestation of gamma rays present in our outer universe in the following figure 3.
Figure 3. Gamma ray flashes in our outer universe
When continuing in our outer space we can find other forms of generation of this type of gamma radiation, for example, when electrons that are inside magnetic fields originated in the top of our universe after bouncing in the interior of these fields acquires the necessary speed to escape of this interior, when leaving it could collide with a certain photon of low energy and this way to produce a gamma ray, as we can visualize in the following figure 4.
Figure 4. Gamma ray production when an electron is released from magnetic fields present in our outer space
This can also happen with a proton, when it comes out after bouncing many times inside these fields reaching in this way the sufficient speed to escape and it can get to collide or impact with a photon giving origin to a neutral pion that quickly will be transformed into a gamma ray, as we can observe in the following figure 5.
Figure 5. Gamma ray production when a proton is now released from these magnetic fields
Gamma ray spectrum
In this way we continue building our electromagnetic spectrum, in this opportunity we will insert the strip or spectral portion belonging to the gamma rays, ordering as we have done to these rays according to their wavelength, and consequently to their energetic quantity and frequency, where, the gamma rays possess until now the greatest quantity of energy.
This spectral fraction of the gamma rays is found next to the X rays, because the gamma rays are the most energetic of all the rays we find beyond the X rays, and in this way they head one of the extremes of our electromagnetic spectrum, in terms of their relationship to both their short wavelength, frequencies and energy, they are the most penetrating and ionizing of all electromagnetic radiation.
In this way the gamma rays are electromagnetic radiations and invisible for our eyes, next we can observe this spectral fraction in the following figure 6.
Figure 6. Spectral Portion of Gamma Rays
With this general analysis of gamma rays we continue structuring our electromagnetic spectrum, and thus highlighting our interest in interpreting our complex universe, where the rays or electromagnetic radiation are in this prestigious list, and how not to be, if in this spectrum we have our visible light with which we can carry out any type of study or analysis because with it we observe our environment as it is.
Gamma rays are ionizing radiation due to their high amount of energy, and like X-rays, are implemented in important human activities such as the area of medicine, where, by controlling their exposures can get to eliminate cancerous tissues, are also implemented in the debacterization or sterilization of certain materials or medical equipment, among other applications.
Thanks to the understanding of the gamma rays we have been able to extend our knowledge related to our outer universe, in the highest of our universe we have found innumerable processes where these types of radiations are generated and which do not arrive at the Earth by the high atmosphere that surrounds our planet, many emissions of these rays are originated through elements such as plutonium, cobalt, among others, being implemented this way in areas before mentioned and of vital importance for all of us.
Until another delivery my appreciated readers of Hive.blog, specially to the members of the great community of #Stemsocial, which receives the support of another wonderful community like #curie, reason why I recommend widely to be part of this exemplary project, since they allow us to emphasize the wonderful task of the academy and the enormous work of all the field of science.
Note: All the images are of my authorship, made through Power Point, the animated gif were made through the application of PhotoScape.