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gamma radiation

gamma radiation, high-energy photons emitted as one of the three types of radiation resulting from natural radioactivity. It is the most energetic form of electromagnetic radiation, with a very short wavelength (high frequency). Wavelengths of the longest gamma radiation are less than 10-10 m, with frequencies greater than 1018 hertz (cycles per sec). Gamma rays are essentially very energetic X rays; the distinction between the two is not based on their intrinsic nature but rather on their origins. X rays are emitted during atomic processes involving energetic electrons. Gamma radiation is emitted by excited nuclei (see nucleus) or other processes involving subatomic particles; it often accompanies alpha or beta radiation, as a nucleus emitting those particles may be left in an excited (higher-energy) state. The applications of gamma radiation are much the same as those of X rays, both in medicine and in industry. In medicine, gamma ray sources are used for cancer treatment and for diagnostic purposes. Some gamma-emitting radioisotopes are also used as tracers (see radioactive isotope). In industry, principal applications include inspection of castings and welds. Data from artificial satellites and high-altitude balloons have indicated that a flux of gamma radiation is reaching the earth from outer space, thus opening up the field of research known as gamma-ray astronomy.

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"gamma radiation." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 24 Jun. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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"gamma radiation." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved June 24, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/gamma-radiation

gamma radiation

gamma radiation Form of very short wavelength electromagnetic radiation emitted from the nuclei of some radioactive atoms. High-energy gamma rays have even greater powers of penetration than X-rays. They are used in medicine to treat cancer and in the food industry to kill microorganisms. See also radioactivity

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"gamma radiation." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. 24 Jun. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"gamma radiation." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. (June 24, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/gamma-radiation

"gamma radiation." World Encyclopedia. . Retrieved June 24, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/gamma-radiation

gamma radiation

gam·ma ra·di·a·tion • n. gamma rays.

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"gamma radiation." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. 24 Jun. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"gamma radiation." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. (June 24, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/gamma-radiation

"gamma radiation." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Retrieved June 24, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/gamma-radiation