Last modified on 16 January 2010, at 13:58

Physics Course/Gamma Rays

Gamma rays were discovered by Paul Villard in 1900. These are the most energetic photons, having no defined lower limit to their wavelength. They are useful to astronomers in the study of high energy objects or regions, and find a use with physicists thanks to their penetrative ability and their production from radioisotopes. Gamma rays are also used for the irradiation of food and seed for sterilization, and in medicine they are used in radiation cancer therapy and some kinds of diagnostic imaging such as PET scans. The wavelength of gamma rays can be measured with high accuracy by means of Compton scattering.