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Glossary of Plasma Physics and Fusion Energy Research

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  Term: X-Ray
  Definition: A penetrating form of electromagnetic radiation emitted either when the inner orbital electrons of an excited atom return to their normal state (characteristic x-rays), or when a high speed electron collides sharply with an ion or atomic target (bremsstrahlung). X-rays have energies from roughly 100 eV to roughly 100 keV. (Below X-rays are ultraviolet rays, and above X-rays in energy are gamma rays.) X-rays are (basically by definition) non-nuclear in origin. (Nuclear electromagnetic radiation termed gamma radiation.) See also ultraviolet, gamma rays, bremsstrahlung.


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