What are gamma (γ-) rays ?

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Gamma rays are emitted by almost all radioactive materials. Main characteristics of gamma rays are; The γ-rays have high penetrating power. These can even penetrate a 15 cm thick sheet of steel. The γ-rays also affect the photographic plate.

Gamma rays are emitted by almost all radioactive materials. Main characteristics of gamma rays are;

(i) The γ-rays do not get deflected by electrical and magnetic fields. Thus, indicating that γ-rays do not carry any charge.

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(ii) The γ-rays are the electromagnetic radiations similar to light rays and X-rays, but of very small wavelength (10 -10to 10 -13 m).

(iii) The γ-rays with the speed of light.

(iv) The γ-rays have high penetrating power. These can even penetrate a 15 cm thick sheet of steel.

(v) The ionizing power of γ-rays is very feeble.

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(vi) The γ-rays also affect the photographic plate.

Characteristics of alpha (α-) particles, beta (β-) particles and gamma (γ-) rays are compared.

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