Gamma ray

Gamma rays (γ-rays) are electromagnetic waves with the smallest wavelengths in the electromagnetic spectrum.[1] They were discovered in 1900 by Paul Villard, and named in 1903 by Ernest Rutherford.

Gamma rays are like x-rays, but the waves are smaller in wavelength. Both gamma rays and x-rays are photons with very high energies, and gamma have even more energy. They are also a type of ionizing radiation. Gamma rays can travel through thicker materials than x-rays can.

Gamma rays are produced by some types of radioactive atoms. Cobalt-60 and potassium-40 are two isotopes that emit gamma rays. Cobalt-60 is created in accelerators and is used in hospitals. Potassium-40 occurs naturally. Small amounts of potassium-40 are in all plants and animals. Gamma rays from potassium-40 each have an energy of 1460 thousand electron volts (keV).

Gamma rays and X-rays can also be distinguished by their origin: X-rays are emitted by electrons outside the nucleus, while gamma rays are emitted by the nucleus.[2]

Gamma rays in medicine

Gamma rays can also go through the skin to kill cells, such as cancerous cells. Doctors can use radiation therapy machines which produce gamma rays in hospitals to treat people with some types of cancer.[3]

Doctors also use gamma rays to find disease. In hospitals, doctors can give patients radioactive medicine which emits gamma rays. Doctors can find some types of disease by measuring gamma rays which come from a patient afterward. Hospitals can also use gamma rays to sterilise (clean) things as disinfectants do.[3]

Other Languages
Afrikaans: Gammastraling
العربية: أشعة غاما
asturianu: Radiación gamma
azərbaycanca: Qamma şüalanma
Bân-lâm-gú: Gamma siā-sòaⁿ
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Гама-выпраменьваньне
български: Гама-лъчи
bosanski: Gama zračenje
čeština: Záření gama
Ελληνικά: Ακτίνες γ
English: Gamma ray
español: Rayos gamma
Esperanto: Gama-radiado
euskara: Gamma izpi
فارسی: پرتو گاما
Fiji Hindi: Gamma ray
français: Rayon gamma
한국어: 감마선
हिन्दी: गामा किरण
hrvatski: Gama-čestica
Bahasa Indonesia: Sinar gama
interlingua: Radiation gamma
íslenska: Gammageisli
italiano: Raggi gamma
עברית: קרינת גמא
Kreyòl ayisyen: Reyon gama
latviešu: Gamma stari
lietuvių: Gama spinduliai
Ligure: Raggi gamma
Limburgs: Gammastraoling
македонски: Гама-зрачење
മലയാളം: ഗാമാ കിരണം
मराठी: गॅमा किरण
Bahasa Melayu: Sinar gama
မြန်မာဘာသာ: ဂမ်မာရောင်ခြည်
Nederlands: Gammastraling
日本語: ガンマ線
norsk nynorsk: Gammastråling
ਪੰਜਾਬੀ: ਗਾਮਾ ਕਿਰਨ
پنجابی: گیما رے
Piemontèis: Raj gama
Plattdüütsch: Gammastrahlen
português: Radiação gama
română: Radiație gama
Scots: Gamma ray
සිංහල: ගැමා කිරණ
slovenčina: Žiarenie gama
slovenščina: Žarek gama
српски / srpski: Гама зрачење
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Gama-čestica
Basa Sunda: Sinar gamma
Tagalog: Sinag gamma
татарча/tatarça: Гамма-нурланыш
తెలుగు: గామా కిరణం
Türkçe: Gama ışını
українська: Гамма-промені
Tiếng Việt: Tia gamma
walon: Rais gama
文言: 伽馬射線
Winaray: Rayos Gamma
吴语: 伽马射线
粵語: 丙種射綫
žemaitėška: Gama spėndolē
中文: 伽马射线