Alpha, Beta, Gamma. What's Gamma? [HELP]

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Sayonara
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#1
Report Thread starter 7 years ago
#1
I was taught Alpha, Beta, Gamma and the EM spectrum.

Is the Gamma in "Alpha, Beta, Gamma" the same as the "Gamma" of the EM spectrum?

Then, why didn't they do "Alpha, Beta, Radio" or "Alpha, Beta, UV"?

I'm confused.
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user2020user
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#2
Report 7 years ago
#2
Gamma rays are high frequency electromagnetic rays, i.e. high energy photons.

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Desk-Lamp
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#3
Report 7 years ago
#3
Alpha Beta and Gamma are NOT different types of the same thing. They share the greek letter names because they were named historically before they were understood.

Alpha and Beta are 2 types of particles (Helium nuclei and electrons respectively).
Gamma is a form of EM radiation part of the electromagnetic spectrum.

Radio and UV are not really considered radiation in the same sense as alpha-beta-gamma simply because they don't have the energy and don't have the same ionising effect.
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CharlieGM
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#4
Report 7 years ago
#4
I assume that you are talking about the three types of radiation?
Alpha radiation is a Helium nucleus, Beta radiation is an electron (or positron, depending on wether is it Beta+ or Beta- decay)
Gamma radiation is a gamma ray (so yes, from the EM spectrum), it is high frequency and therefore high energy, it is the least ionising and the most penetrative of the three types of radiation.
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Sayonara
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#5
Report Thread starter 7 years ago
#5
Thanks but, I just find it extremely weird they categorised it with "Alpha, Beta, and Gamma".

Why not "Alpha, Beta and Electromagnetic radiation"?
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user2020user
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#6
Report 7 years ago
#6
(Original post by CharlieGM)
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Gamma has an infinite range too, right?
Also, beta radiation has a range of about 1m and alpha has a range of a few centimetres, right?
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Desk-Lamp
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#7
Report 7 years ago
#7
(Original post by Sayonara)
Thanks but, I just find it extremely weird they categorised it with "Alpha, Beta, and Gamma".

Why not "Alpha, Beta and Electromagnetic radiation"?
What you have to realise is that when these things were discovered they just seemd like 3 types of radiation given off different materials, so it was assumed they were different types of the same thing. It wasn't until later that we discovered the exact nature of the particles and waves involved, but the names had already stuck.
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Sayonara
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#8
Report Thread starter 7 years ago
#8
I know Alpha and Beta aren't EM.

I was wondering why didn't the books say "Alpha, Beta, UV" or "Alpha, Beta, X-Ray" instead of "Alpha, Beta, Gamma".
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Desk-Lamp
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#9
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#9
It seems weird to us because we approach it from a theoretical basis, but the names came from experimental observation before the theory was really complete.
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Sayonara
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#10
Report Thread starter 7 years ago
#10
Thanks, so it was all due to people not knowing about other radiation so they categorised it in a weird way.
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