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Description of Gamma Rays

Gamma rays, also known as gamma radiation, refers to electromagnetic radiation (no rest mass, no charge) of a very high energies. Gamma rays are high-energy photons with very short wavelengths and thus very high frequency. Since the gamma rays are in substance only very high-energy photons, they are very penetrating matter and are thus biologically hazardous. Gamma rays can travel thousands of feet in the air and can easily pass through the human body. Gamma rays are emitted by unstable nuclei in their transition from a high-energy state to a lower state known as gamma decay. In most practical laboratory sources, the excited nuclear states are created in the decay of a parent radionuclide. Therefore a gamma decay typically accompanies other forms of decay, such as alpha or beta decay. Radiation and also gamma rays are all around us. In, around, and above the world we live in. It is a part of our natural world that has been here since the birth of our planet. Natural sources of gamma rays on Earth are, among other things, gamma rays from naturally occurring radionuclides, particularly potassium-40.  Potassium-40 is a radioactive isotope of potassium that has a very long half-life of 1.251×109 years (comparable to the age of Earth). This isotope can be found in soil, water also in meat and bananas. This is not the only example of a natural source of gamma rays.
A photon, the quantum of electromagnetic radiation,  is an elementary particle, which is the force carrier of the electromagnetic force. The modern photon concept was developed (1905) by Albert Einstein to explain the photoelectric effect, in which he proposed the existence of discrete energy packets during the transmission of light. Before Albert Einstein, notably the German physicist Max Planck had prepared the way for the concept by explaining that objects that emit and absorb light do so only in amounts of energy that are quantized, that means every change of energy can occur only by certain particular discrete amounts and the object cannot change the energy in any arbitrary way. The concept of the modern photon came into general use after the physicist Arthur H. Compton demonstrated (1923) the corpuscular nature of X-rays. This was the validation of Einstein’s hypothesis that light itself is quantized. The term photon comes from Greek phōtos, “light”, and a photon is usually denoted by the symbol γ (gamma). The photons are also symbolized by hν (in chemistry and optical engineering), where h is Planck’s constant and the Greek letter ν (nu) is the photon’s frequency. The radiation frequency is the key parameter of all photons because it determines the energy of a photon. Photons are categorized according to the energies from low-energy radio waves and infrared radiation, through visible light, to high-energy X-rays and gamma rays. Photons are gauge bosons for electromagnetism, having no electric charge or rest mass and one unit of spin. Common to all photons is the speed of light, the universal constant of physics. In space, the photon moves at c (the speed of light – 299 792 458 meters per second).
Barium-137m is a product of a common fission product - Caesium - 137. The main gamma ray of Barium-137m is 661keV photon.
Barium-137m is a product of a common fission product – Caesium – 137. The main gamma-ray of Barium-137m is 661keV photon.


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Gamma Ray  

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Discovery of Gamma Rays