2009 Advanced Laboratories Conference Abstract Detail Page
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||The discovery of x-rays by Roentgen in 1895 in many ways marks the dawn of modern physics. The short wavelength end of the electromagnetic spectrum represented by x rays and g rays is of great practical importance as a probe of the internal structure of matter, as a diagnostic tool in medicine, and as a window into cosmic processes such as supernovae and black hole accretion. In this experiment you will use a precision solid-state detector to study x-ray energy spectra of x-ray from a number of sources. Nuclear x-ray sources are used to calibrate the device to high precision. Then, bombardment from an alpha source is used to stimulate atomic x-ray transitions in a number of materials. The x-ray energies reveal the atomic level spacings with great clarity, and can be used to show the existence the atomic number. The characteristic x-ray lines of the elements are then used to determine the composition of unknown samples. There will be a surprise source of x-rays that will delight you and your students!
||Session V - Parallel Workshops
Faculty or Staff
University of Michigan