effect of changing target metal to heavier metal in X-ray tubeWatch
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when target metal is changed to heavier metal in X-ray tube, the min wavelength will not change. but the wavelength of the characteristics line will become smaller. my textbook gives me the above statement explaining much. can someone please explain it? thanks !
The minimum wavelength emitted from the tube depends on the maximum energy supplied to the electrons, which in turn depends on the accelerating voltage. This doesn't change if you only change the target metal.
The so called "characteristic" wavelengths are characteristic of the target metal and are determined by the separation between the electron energy levels deep down in the atom.
A heavier atom will have deeper energy levels with greater gaps. Greater gaps mean larger amounts of energy are possible for the photons emitted due to energy transitions deep in the atom. Larger energy means higher frequency. Higher frequency means shorter wavelength.