[Boatanchors] Thanks for Replies: Question: X-Rays from 3B28?

LM Picard lmpicard at rogers.com
Tue Feb 17 23:17:17 EST 2015

The soft x-rays produced by 8kv - 17kv potential differences are referred to as grenz rays because the occupy a place in the electro-magnetic spectrum between ultraviolet rays and more conventional x-rays.  

They lack penetrating power and may be attenuated to some extent by air and more efficiently by thin layers of metal.  

The maximum energy of x-ray photons is determined by the potential difference between cathode and anode.  

Most of the x-rays produced in a vacuum tube result from deceleration of electrons as they hit the target (anode).  This type of radiation is called bremsstrahlung.  Superimposed on the continuous bremsstrahlung distribution are “characteristic” emission lines that are specific to the composition of the target.  

The efficiency of a target in giving rise to x-ray emissions is proportional to the square of its atomic number.  Therefore heavier metals are much more efficient at generating x-rays than materials lower in the periodic table.  

I have no information on the material composition of the elements in a 3B28.   However, tubes designed for x-ray use typically have targets of tungsten (atomic number, 74) or molybdenum (atomic number 42).  Copper has an atomic number of 29 and iron 26.

Since x-rays are ionizing radiation, they can be detected by Geiger counters.   

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