The Electromagnetic Spectrum Gamma Rays


The electromagnetic spectrum refers to a range of all frequencies f electromagnetic radiation that includes invisible radiation as well s visible lights like the radio waves, gamma rays and infrared waves.

The electromagnetic radiation from spectrum has multiple uses in the manufacturing and communication field. Gamma rays generally refer to the high frequency electromagnetic radiations and these rays carry enormous energy. Gamma rays can pass through from all types of materials. There are a few exceptions like thick concrete and lead bloc through which these rays cannot pass.

Electromagnetic spectrum and gamma rays

Gamma rays consist of the wavelength which holds the value- 100 pm and the frequencies is bigger than 10Hz. Gamma rays were first explored by Paul Villard in 1900. Ernest Rutherford named Gamma rays

Figure 1

Figure 1

These kinds of rays are one of the high energetic rays and they possess a huge amount of energy than any other rays (Scied.ucar, 2022). Gamma rays are categorized as ionizing radiation and, therefore, these rays are very dangerous. Gamma rays possess so much of energy that it has the capacity to pull out the electron from the atom

Gamma rays: Properties

Characteristics attributes of gamma rays

Figure 2: Characteristics attributes of gamma rays

Gama rays are the form of electromagnetic radiation. They resemble X-rays. Gamma rays can be distinguished by some factors. As opined by Wang & Liu (2021), their rays are emitted from the excited nucleus. The high energy of gamma rays allows them to pass through the different objects. Gamma rays can also penetrate into human tissues..

Capturing of gamma rays cannot occur through mirrors. Since wavelengths of gamma rays are short in nature they are capable of passing through atoms within the detector. Gamma-ray detectors consist of crystal blocks packed densely. Passage of gamma rays results in a collision and the procedure is commonly known as Compton scattering. Compton scattering is the procedure where gamma rays lose energy upon striking an electron. Collision results in the creation of the charged particles which are easily detected through sensors.

Production of gamma rays

Gamma rays are produced in the decomposition of the radioactive atomic nuclei and from the decaying subatomic particles. Gamma rays are the part of electromagnetic spectrum.

Gamma rays production

Figure 3: Gamma rays production

They are generally produced from the most energetic and hottest objects in the universe. Universal objects like stars, pulsars, neutrons and supernova explosions are responsible for the generation of gamma rays. On earth, these rays are produced by emissions that occur in multiple objects (, 2022). The main path to producing gamma rays is through nuclear reactions

  • Nuclear Fission

  • Lightning.

  • Alpha Decay

  • Gamma Decay

  • Nuclear Fusion

The main difference between the gamma rays and the X-ray lies in their production. Gamma rays are generally generated by a settling process of the excited nucleus and the X rays are produced by the strike of a particular electron in an atom

Gamma rays and their uses

All though gamma rays are very harmful it has multiple uses in various fields. Gamma rays are used to sterilize the medical equipment and Sterilize and preserve the food. These rays are also used as tracers in the medicinal field (Science.nasa, 2022).

One of the most common uses of gamma rays can be found in radiotherapy. It is used in oncology for killing dangerous cancer cells and it further prevents its growth (, 2022). It is also used in the treatment of tumors. Gamma rays have a special significance in industrial uses. In industry, they are to check the oil pipes and locate their defects. In science gamma, these rays are implemented for the improvement of bombs and nuclear reactors

Gamma rays and their units

API unit is generally used to measure the gamma rays. API indicates American petroleum institute (Livescience, 2022). API is used as the unit for radioactivity. IT is used to measure natural gamma-rays in the ground

The wavelength of Gamma Rays

Gamma rays are the highly energetic electromagnetic radiation. It possesses energy which is greater than 100 keV and frequencies which are bigger than 1019 Hz. It possesses the shortest wavelengths which are lower than 10 picometer which indicates a very low value and that means they cannot be felt or seen.


Gamma rays are part of the electromagnetic spectrum. It possesses an enormous amount of energy and it can travel through any object. The reaction of gamma rays can be harmful fur the human body. The major uses of the rays are used in the field of medical, science and industrial field. Gamma rays generally hold a very high frequency. The shield is essential to prevent gamma rays because they can cause severe damage to the skin and blood and may cause cancer and eye disorders.


Q1. How does gamma rays production occurs?

Production of gamma rays occurs through a nuclear reaction. Radioactive elements also emit gamma rays Gamma rays are used in cancer treatment. It prevents the further growth of cancer cells.

Q2. Why gamma rays are also known as electromagnetic waves?

Gamma rays are considered to be the shortest and the most electromagnetic waves. The wavelength of gamma rays has been reported to be 10-10 meters. However, photons emitted by gamma rays have energy that is much more than that of 10a 000 of electrons volt.

Q3. What are the properties of gamma rays?

Gamma rays are electromagnetic waves that have the shortest wavelength with a higher frequency. The travelling speed of gamma rays is equivalent to the speed of light. Fluorescence effects are produced by gamma rays on a photographic plate

Q4. What is the usage of gamma rays?

Gamma rays are electromagnetic radiation obtained through the decay of the nucleus of the atom. Gamma rays can damage cells and are often utilized in sterilization, and radiotherapy


Simply Easy Learning

Updated on: 18-Aug-2023


Kickstart Your Career

Get certified by completing the course

Get Started