Properties of y Ray
- • They are not deflected in the electric and magnetic fields, showing thereby that they do not carry any charge. In fact, in every respect, these rays are found to be an electromagnetic radiation of the same nature as x-rays except that these are of a shorter wavelength than x-rays. These rays do not have any mass and hence cannot be considered to be made up of particles. It is interesting to mention here that the production of у rays does not take place simultaneously with the a and p rays but it takes place subsequently. It is believed that when an a or p particle is emitted, the nucleus becomes exited, that is it has a higher energy and emits the excess energy in the form of radiation which form у rays. In some cases, only a and p rays are emitted and у rays are not present at all.
- • They travel with the same velocity as that of light.
- • As they do not have any mass, their ionizing power is very poor.
- • They have the highest penetrating power out of all the three types of radiations. Their penetrating power is about 100 times more than that of p rays. Thus, they can penetrate through lead sheets as thick as 150 mm.
- • Gamma (y) rays have very little effect on the photographic plate or zinc sulphide screen.