Electricity & Megnetism

Ultraviolet rays and X-rays

When looking at the region of the electromagnetic spectrum, we will see a region known as the ultraviolet, which includes wavelengths ranging from 4×10 -7 m to 6×10 -10 m. A very important source of ultraviolet waves is the Sun. These waves are the main cause of tanning and sunburn.

The atoms contained in the electrosphere absorb most of the ultraviolet waves coming from the Sun. This is of great importance, since ultraviolet waves, in large quantities, have harmful effects on human beings. An important constituent of the electrosphere is ozone, which results from reactions of oxygen with ultraviolet radiation. This ozone shield converts lethal high-energy ultraviolet radiation into harmless infrared radiation.

If any microorganism absorbs ultraviolet radiation in excess, it can be destroyed due to the chemical reactions produced by the ionization and separation of its molecules. For this reason, ultraviolet rays are used in some medical applications and in sterilization processes.

X ray

X – rays are electromagnetic waves with wavelengths in the range of approximately 10 -8 m to 10 -13 m. The most common source of X-rays is the acceleration of high-energy electrons bombarding a metal target. X-rays are used as a diagnostic tool in medicine and as a treatment for certain forms of cancer.

We must avoid unnecessary exposure to X-rays, as they can damage or even destroy living tissue and organisms. X-rays are also used in the study involving crystalline structures. The wavelengths of these rays are compatible with atomic separation distances, that is, distances equal to 10 -10 m. It is worth remembering that a good X-ray machine has its beams collimated so that no other structure, besides the one that needs to be studied, is affected by the radiation.

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