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# PHYSICS CHAPTER 12

is defined as an electromagnetic
the bombardment of atoms by
high energy electrons in x-ray
tube.
tube

## CHAPTER 12: X-rays

(2 Hours)

discovered by
in 1895.
1
PHYSICS CHAPTER 12
Learning Outcome:
www.kmph.matrik.edu.my/physic s

## 12.1 X-ray spectra (1 hour)

At the end of this chapter, students should be able to:
 Explain with the aid of a diagram, the production of
X-rays from an X-ray tube.
 Explain the production of continuous and characteristic
X-ray spectra.
 Derive and use the formulae for minimum wavelength for
continuous X-ray spectra,
hc
λmin =
eV
 Identify the effects of the variation of current,
accelerating voltage and atomic number of the anode on
the continuous and characteristic X-ray spectra.
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PHYSICS CHAPTER 12

## 12.1 X-ray spectra

12.1.1 Properties of x-rays
 Its properties are
 x-rays travel in a straight lines at the speed of light.
light
 x-rays cannot be deflected by electric or magnetic fields.
fields
(This is convincing evidence that they are uncharged or
neutral particles)
particles
 x-rays can be diffracted by the crystal lattice if the spacing
between two consecutive planes of atoms approximately
equal to its wavelength.
 x-rays affect photographic film.
film
 x-rays can produce fluorescence and photoelectric
emission.
emission
 x-rays penetrate matter.
matter Penetration power is least in the
materials of high density.
density

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PHYSICS CHAPTER 12
12.1.2 Production of x-rays
 X-rays are produced in an x-ray tube. Figure 12.1 shows a
schematic diagram of an x-ray tube.
Tungsten target X-rays
Evacuated glass
(anode) tube

## Cooling system Heated filament

Electrons
(cathode)
High voltage source Power supply
Figure 12.1 for heater
 An x-ray tube consists of
 an evacuated glass tube to allow the electrons strike the
target without collision with gas molecules.

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PHYSICS CHAPTER 12
 a heated filament as a cathode and is made from the
material of lower ionization energy.
energy
 a target (anode) made from a heavy metal of high
melting point such as tungsten and molybdenum.
 a cooling system that is used to prevent the target
(anode) from melting.
melting
 a high voltage source that is used to set the anode at a
large positive potential compare to the filament.
filament
 When a filament (cathode) is heated by the current supplied to
it (filament current If), many electrons are emitted by thermionic
emission (is defined as the emission of electrons from a
heated conductor).
conductor
 These electrons are accelerated towards a target, which is
maintained at a high positive voltage relative to cathode.
 The high speed electrons strike the target and rapidly
decelerated on impact, suddenly the x-rays are emitted.
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PHYSICS CHAPTER 12
 X-rays emission can be considered as the reverse of the
photoelectric effect.
effect In the photoelectric effect,
incident on a target causes the emission of electrons but in
an x-ray tube,
tube electrons incident on a target cause the
(x-rays)
 The radiation produced by the x-ray tube is created by two
completely difference physical mechanisms refer to:
 characteristic x-rays

##  continuous x-rays (called bremsstrahlung in german which

Characteristic x-rays
 The electrons which bombard the target are very energetic
and are capable of knock out the inner shell electrons from
the target atom, creating the inner shell vacancies.
vacancies
 When these are refilled by electrons from the outer shells,
shells
the electrons making a transition from any one of the outer
shells (higher energy level) to the inner shell (lower energy level)
vacancies and emit the characteristic x-rays.
x-rays 6
PHYSICS CHAPTER 12
 The energy of the characteristic x-rays is given by

∆E = hf = Ef − Ei (12.1)

##  Since the energy of characteristic x-rays equal to the difference

of the two energies level, thus its energy is discrete . Then its
frequency and wavelength also discrete.
discrete
 Figure 12.2 shows the production of characteristic x-rays.
hc
∆E2 = EL − EM = hf 2 =
M λ2
L hc
K ∆E1 = EK − EL = hf1 =
λ1
High speed electron
vacancy Electron in the shell
Nucleus
Figure 12.2 7
PHYSICS CHAPTER 12 Note:
 In the production of the x-rays, a target (anode) made from a heavy
metal of multielectron atom, thus the energy level for multielectron
atom is given by

En = −(13.6 eV )
( Z − 1)
2
; n = 1,2,3,...
2
(12.2)
n
where En : energy level of n th state (orbit)
Z : atomic number
n : principal quantum number
 Table 12.1 shows a shell designation for multielectron atom.
n Shell Number of electron

1 K 2
2 L 8
3 M 18
4 N 32 8
Table 12.1
PHYSICS CHAPTER 12
Continuous x-rays (Bremsstrahlung)
 Some of high speed electrons which bombard the target
undergo a rapid deceleration.
deceleration This is braking.
 As the electrons suddenly come to rest in the target,
target a part or
all of their kinetic energies are converted into energy of EM
radiation immediately called Bresmsstrahlung, that is
kinetic energy of the electron K = E energy of EM radiation
1 2
mv = hf (12.3)
2
 These x-rays cover a wide range of wavelengths or frequencies
Note: and its energies are continuous.
continuous
 The intensity of x-rays depends on
the number of electrons hitting the target i.e. the filament
current.
current
the voltage across the tube.
tube If the voltage increases so the
energy of the bombarding electrons increases and therefore makes
more energy available for x-rays production. 9
PHYSICS CHAPTER 12
Example 1 :
Calculate the minimum energy (in joule) of a bombarding electron
must have to knock out a K shell electron of a tungsten atom
(Z =74).
Solution : ni = 1; nf = ∞
By applying the equation of the energy level for multielectron atom,

En = −(13.6 eV )
( Z − 1)
2

n2
For K shell, Ei = EK = −(13.6 eV )
( 74 − 1)
2

2
1
= −7.25 × 10 4 eV
For n =∞ , Ef = E∞ = 0
Therefore the minimum energy of the bombarding electron is given
by ∆E = E − E
f i (
∆E = 0 − − 7.25 × 10 4 )
( )(
= 7.25 × 10 4 1.60 × 10 −19 )
∆E = 1.16 × 10 −14 J 10
PHYSICS CHAPTER 12
12.1.3 X-ray spectra
 Since there are two types of x-rays are produced in the x-ray
tube, hence the x-ray spectra consist of line spectra (known as
characteristic lines)
lines and continuous spectrum as shown in
Figure 12.3.
X-ray intensity Kα
The area under the Line spectra
graph = the total (characteristic lines)
intensity of x-rays

No x-rays is Kβ
produced if Kγ Continuous
λ < λmin spectrum

0 λmin λ1 λ2 λ3 Wavelength,
λ
Figure 12.3 11
PHYSICS CHAPTER 12
 At low applied voltage across the tube, only a continuous
exists As the applied voltage
increases,
increases groups of sharp peaks superimposed on the
appear These peaks are lines
spectra (characteristic lines) where it is depend on the target
material.
material
Characteristic lines
 The characteristic lines are the result of electrons transition
within the atoms of the target material due to the production of
characteristic x-rays (section 12.1.2).
 There are several types of characteristic lines series:

##  K lines series is defined as the line spectra produced

due to electron transition from outer shell to K shell
vacancy.
vacancy
Kα line Electron transition from L shell (n =2) to
K shell vacancy (n =1)
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PHYSICS CHAPTER 12
Kβ line Electron transition from M shell (n =3)
to K shell vacancy (n =1)
Kγ line Electron transition from N shell (n =4)
to K shell vacancy (n =1)
 L lines series is defined as the lines spectra produced
due to electron transition from outer shell to L shell
vacancy.
Lα line Electron transition from M shell (n =3)
to L shell vacancy (n =2)
Lβ line Electron transition from N shell (n =4)
to L shell vacancy (n =2)
Lγ line Electron transition from O shell (n =5)
to L shell vacancy (n =2)
 M lines series is defined as the lines spectra produced
due to electron transition from outer shell to M shell
vacancy.
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PHYSICS CHAPTER 12
Mα Electron transition from N shell (n =4)
line to M shell vacancy (n =3)
Mβ Electron transition from O shell (n =5)
line to M shell vacancy (n =3)
Mγ Electron transition from P shell (n =6) to
line M shell vacancy (n =3)
 These lines spectra can be illustrated by using the energy level
diagram as shown in Figure 12.4. Mγ n
EP 6 (P shell)
Lγ M
EO β 5 (O shell)
EN Lβ Mα 4 (N shell)

EM Lα 3 (M shell)

EL 2 (L shell)

EK 1 (K shell) 14
Figure 12.4
PHYSICS CHAPTER 12
 These characteristic lines is the property of the target material
i.e. for difference material the wavelengths of the
characteristic lines are different.
different
 Note that the wavelengths of the characteristic lines does not
changes when the applied voltage across x-ray tube changes.
changes
Continuous (background) spectrum
 The continuous spectrum is produced by electrons colliding with
the target and being decelerated due to the production of
continuous x-rays in section 12.1.2.
 According to the x-ray spectra (Figure 12.3), the continuous
spectrum has a minimum wavelength.
 The existence of the minimum wavelength is due to the
emission of the most energetic photon where the kinetic energy
of an electron accelerated through the x-ray tube is completely
converted into the photon energy . This happens when the
electron colliding with the target is decelerated and stopped in a
single collision.
collision

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PHYSICS CHAPTER 12
 If the electron is accelerated through a voltage V, the kinetic
energy of the electron is
kinetic energy of the electron K = U electric potential energy
K = eV
 When the kinetic energy of the electron is completely converted
into the photon energy , thus the minimum wavelength λ min
of the x-rays is
eV = E
hc
eV =
λmin
hc
λmin = (12.4)
eV
 From the eq. (12.4), the minimum wavelength depends on the
applied voltage across the x-ray tube and independent of
target material.
material
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PHYSICS CHAPTER 12
12.1.4 Penetrating power (quality) of x-rays
 The strength of the x-rays are determined by their penetrating
power.
 The penetrating power depends on the wavelength of the x-
rays where if their wavelength are short then the penetrating
power is high or vice versa.
By using the eq. (12.4) :
hc Penetrating ↑E = hc

λ= λ↓
↑ increases eV power
↓ decreases E
V ↑ λ↓ P= P↑
t
 X-rays of low penetrating power are called soft x-ray and
those of high penetrating power are called hard x-ray.

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PHYSICS CHAPTER 12
12.1.5 Factors influence the x-ray spectra
Filament current X-rays intensity
 When it is
increased,
increased the
intensity of the
x-ray spectra
also increased
as shown in
Figure 12.5.
Initial
Final

0 λmin λ1 λ2 λ3 Wavelength,
Figure 12.5 λ 18
No change
PHYSICS CHAPTER 12
Applied voltage (p.d.) across x-ray tube
 When it is X-rays intensity
increased,
increased the
intensity of the x-
ray spectra also
increased but the
minimum
wavelength is
decreased.
decreased
 The wavelengths
of the Initial
characteristic Final
lines remain
unchanged as
shown in Figure
12.6.

0 λf λ λ1 λ2 λ3 Wavelength,
i
Figure 12.6 λ 19
No change
PHYSICS CHAPTER 12
Target material
 When the target X-rays intensity
material is
changed with
heavy material
(greater in atomic
number),
number the
intensity of the x-
ray spectra
increased,
increased the
wavelengths of
Initial
the characteristic
lines decreased.
decreased Final
 The minimum
wavelength
remains
unchanged as
shown in Figure
12.7. 0 λmin λ λ λ λ λ λ Wavelength,
'
1
'
2 2
'
3 3
1
Figure 12.7 λ 20
No change
PHYSICS CHAPTER 12
12.1.6 Difference between x-ray emission spectra
and optical atomic emission spectra
 is from the production aspect as shown in Table 12.2.
X-ray spectra Optical atomic spectra

##  is produced when the  is produced when the

inner-most shell electron electron from ground
knocked out and left state rises to the excited
vacancy. This vacancy is state.
filled by electron from outer  After that, the electron
 The electron transition from and emits energy of EM
outer shells to inner shell radiation whose produced
vacancy emits energy of x- the emission spectra.
rays and produced x-ray
spectra.

Table 12.2 21
PHYSICS CHAPTER 12
Example 2 :
Estimate the Kα wavelength for molybdenum (Z =42).
(Given the speed of light in the vacuum, c =3.00× 108 m s−1 and
Planck’s constant, h =6.63× 10−34 J s)
Solution : Z = 42
The energy level for K and L shells are

En = −(13.6 eV )
( Z − 1)
2

n2
EK = −(13.6 eV )
( 42 − 1)
2

12
= −22862 eV
( 42 − 1)
2

and EL = −(13.6 eV )
22
= −5715 eV
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PHYSICS CHAPTER 12
Solution : Z = 42
The difference between the energy level of K and L shells is
∆E = E K − E L
= ( − 22862) − ( − 5715)
(
= (17147) 1.60 × 10 −19 )
∆E = 2.74 × 10 −15 J
Therefore the wavelength corresponds to the ∆ E is given by
hc
∆E =
λ

2.74 × 10 −15 =
(
6. 63 × 10 )(
−34
3.00 × 10 8
)
λ
λ = 7.26 × 10 −11 m

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PHYSICS CHAPTER 12
Example 3 :
An x-ray tube has an applied voltage of 40 kV. Calculate
a. the maximum frequency and minimum wavelength of the emitted

x-rays,
b. the maximum speed of the electron to produce the x-rays of
maximum frequency.
(Given c =3.00× 108 m s−1, h =6.63× 10−34 J s, me=9.11× 10−31 kg;
e=1.60× 10V−19
40 ×k10
C= and 3
=9.00×
V 109 N m2 C−2)
Solution :
a. The maximum frequencyhf of the x-rays is
= eV
max

(6.63 × 10 ) f
−34
max ( )(
= 1.60 × 10 −19 40 × 103 )
f max = 9.65 × 1018 Hz

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PHYSICS CHAPTER 12
Solution : V = 40 × 103 V
a. Since the frequency is maximum, thus the minimum wavelength
of x-rays is given by
c
λmin =
f max
3.00 × 108
=
9.65 × 1018
λmin = 3.11 × 10 −11 m
b. The maximum speed of the electron is
1 2
mv max = hf max
2
1
2
( ) ( )(
9.11 × 10 −31 vmax = 6.63 × 10 −34 9.65 × 1018
2
)
vmax = 1.19 × 108 m s −1

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PHYSICS CHAPTER 12
Example 4 :
The energy of an electron in the various shells of the nickel atom is
given by Table 12.3.
Shell Energy (eV) × 103
K −8.5
L −1.0
M −0.5
Table 12.3
If the nickel is used as the target in an x-ray tube, calculate the
wavelength of the Kβ line.
(Given the speed of light in the vacuum, c =3.00× 108 m s−1 and
Planck’s constant, h =6.63× 10−34 J s)

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PHYSICS CHAPTER 12
Solution :
The difference between the energy level of K and M shells is
∆E = EK − EM
( ) ( )
= − 8.5 × 103 − − 0.5 × 103
= (8.0 × 10 )(1.60 × 10 )
3 −19

∆E = 1.28 × 10 −15 J
Therefore the wavelength corresponds to the ∆ E is given by
hc
∆E =
λ
−15
1.28 × 10 =
( )(
6.63 × 10 −34 3.00 × 108 )
λ
λ = 1.55 × 10 −10 m

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PHYSICS CHAPTER 12
Learning Outcome:
www.kmph.matrik.edu.my/physic s

## 12.2 Moseley’s law (½ hour)

At the end of this chapter, students should be able to:
 State Moseley’s Law and explain its impact on the
periodic table.

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PHYSICS CHAPTER 12
12.2 Moseley’s law
 In 1913, Henry G.J. Moseley studies on the characteristic x-ray
spectra for various target elements using the x-ray diffraction
technique.
 He found that the Kα frequency line in the x-ray spectra from a
particular target element is varied smoothly with that element’s
atomic number Z as shown
1
in Figure 12.8.
f K × 10 −8 Hz 2
24 Zr
Y
16 Cu
Co Zn
Cr Ni
Ti Fe
Cl K V
8 Al
Si

Figure 12.8 0 1 Z
8 16 24 32 40 29
PHYSICS CHAPTER 12
 From the Figure 12.8, Moseley states that the frequency of K
characteristic lines is proportional to the squared of atomic
number for the target element and could be expressed as

( )
f K = 2.48 × 1015 Hz ( Z − 1)
2
(12.5)

## where f K : frequency of the K line;

Z : atomic number of the target element
Eq. (12.5) is known as Moseley’s law.
law
 Moseley’s law is considerable importance in the development
of early quantum theory and the arrangement of modern
periodic table of element (Moseley suggested the
arrangement of the elements according to their atomic number,
Z).

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PHYSICS CHAPTER 12
Example 5 :
For the Kα line of wavelength 0.0709 nm, determine the atomic
number of the target element.
(Given the speed of light in the vacuum, c =3.00× 108 m s−1)
λ
Solution : K = 0 . 0709 × 10 −9
m
The frequency of the Kα line is given by
c 3.00 × 108
fK = fK =
λK 0.0709 × 10 −9
= 4.23 × 1018 Hz
By applying the Moseley’s law, thus the atomic number for element
is given by (
f = 2.48 × 1015 Hz Z − 1
K )( ) 2

= ( 2.48 × 10 )( Z − 1)
2
4.23 × 1018 15

Z = 42
31
PHYSICS CHAPTER 12
Learning Outcome:
www.kmph.matrik.edu.my/physic s

## 12.3 X-ray diffraction (½ hour)

At the end of this chapter, students should be able to:
 Derive with the aid of a diagram the Bragg’s equation.
 Use
2d sin θ = nλ

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PHYSICS CHAPTER 12
12.3 X-ray diffraction
12.3.1 Bragg’s law
 X-rays being diffracted by the crystal lattice if their wavelength
approximately equal to the distance between two consecutive
atomic planes of the crystal.
 The x-ray diffraction is shown by the diagram in Figure 12.9.
R C

T i O air
θ A θ
θ crystal d
P Q
B
dsinθ dsinθ d

Figure 12.9
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PHYSICS CHAPTER 12
 From the Figure 12.9, the path difference ∆ L between rays
RAC and TBO is givenΔby L = PB + BQ
ΔL = d sin θ + d sin θ
ΔL = 2d sin θ (12.6)
 The path difference condition for constructive interference
bright is ΔL = nλ ; n = 1,2,3,...
(bright) (12.7)
 By equating the eqs. (12.6) and (12.7), hence

2d sin θ = nλ (12.8)
where
d : separation between atomic planes
θ : glancing angle (the complement of incident angle or
diffraction angle)
λ : wavelength of x - rays
n : diffraction order = 1,2 ,3,...
 Eq. (12.8) is known as Bragg’s law and the angle θ also
known as Bragg angle.
angle 34
PHYSICS CHAPTER 12
Note:
 The number of diffraction order n depends on the glancing angle
θ where if θ is increased then n also increased.
 The number of diffraction order n is maximum when the glancing
angle θ =90°.
 If n =1 ⇒ 1st order bright, the angle θ ⇒ 1st order glancing angle
 If n =2 ⇒ 2nd order bright, the angle θ ⇒ 2nd order glancing angle

## 12.3.2 Uses of x-rays

 In medicine, x-rays are used to diagnose illnesses and for
treatment.
treatment
 Soft x-rays of low penetrating power are used for x-rays
photography.
photography X-rays penetrate easily soft tissues such as
the flesh, whereas the bones which are high density and
absorb more x-rays.
x-rays Hence the image of the bones on the
photographic plate is less exposed compared to that of the
soft tissues as shown in Figure 12.10.
35
PHYSICS CHAPTER 12

Figure 12.10
 Hard x-rays are used in radio therapy for destroying
cancerous cells.
cells It is found that cancerous cells are more
easily damaged by x-rays than stables ones.
 In industry : x-rays are used to detect cracks in the interior of
a metal.
metal
 X-rays are used to study the structure of crystal by using x-
ray spectrometry since they can be diffracted (Bragg’s law).
law

36
PHYSICS CHAPTER 12
Example 6 :
A beam of x-rays of wavelength 0.02 nm is incident on a crystal.
The separation of the atomic planes in the crystal is 3.60× 10−10 m.
Calculate
a. the glancing angle for first order,
b. the maximum number of orders observed.
Solution : λ = 0.02 × 10 −9 m; d = 3.60 × 10 −10 m
a. Given n = 1
By using the Bragg’s law equation, thus
2d sin θ = nλ
−1  nλ 
θ = sin  
 2d 

= sin −1 
1(0 . 02 × 10 −9
) 
 2(3 .60 × 10 −10
) 
θ = 1.59
37
PHYSICS CHAPTER 12
Solution :λ = 0.02 × 10 −9 m; d = 3.60 × 10 −10 m
b. The number of order is maximum when θ =90°, thus
2d sin θ = nλ
2d sin 90 = nmax λ
2d
nmax =
λ
=
(
2 3.60 × 10 −10 )
0.02 × 10 −9
nmax = 36

38
PHYSICS CHAPTER 12
Example 7 :

Intensity
A

B(25 kV)

0 1 2 3 5 6 7 8 9 λ (× 10−2 nm)
4
Figure 12.11
Curves A and B are two x-rays spectra obtained by using two
different voltage. Based on the Figure 12.11 , answer the following
questions.
a. Explain and give reason, whether curves A and B are obtained
by using the same x-ray tube.
b. If curve B is obtained by using a voltage of 25 kV, calculate the
voltage for curve A and obtained the Planck’s constant. 39
PHYSICS CHAPTER 12
−11 −11
Solution :λA = 2.5 × 10 m; λB = 5.0 × 10 m; VB = 25 × 10 V 3

## a. For both curves, the characteristic lines spectra occurred at the

same value of wavelengths. That means the target material used

to obtain the curves A and B are the same but the applied
voltage is increased. Therefore the curves A and B are obtained
by using the same x-ray tube.
b. By applying the equation of minimum wavelength for continuous
hc
x-ray, λA = (1)
For curve A: eVA
hc
λB = (2)
For curve B: eVB

40
PHYSICS CHAPTER 12
−11 −11
Solution :λA = 2.5 × 10 m; λB = 5.0 × 10 m; VB = 20 × 103 V
b. By dividing the eqs. (2) and (1) thus
 hc 
 
λB  eVB 
=
λA  hc 
 
 eVA 
λB VA 5.0 × 10 −11 VA
= =
λA VB 2.5 × 10 −11 25 × 103
VA = 50 × 103 V
By substituting the value of VA into the eq. (1) :

2.5 × 10 −11 =
h( 3. 00 × 10 )
8

( )(
1.60 × 10 −19 50 × 103 )
h = 6.67 × 10 −34 J s
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PHYSICS CHAPTER 12
Exercise 12.1 :
Given c =3.00× 108 m s−1, h =6.63× 10−34 J s, me=9.11× 10−31 kg
and e=1.60× 10−19 C
1. Electrons are accelerated from rest through a potential difference
of 10 kV in an x-ray tube. Calculate
a. the resultant energy of the electrons in electron-volt,
b. the wavelength of the associated electron waves,
c. the maximum energy and the minimum wavelength of the x-
rays generated.
ANS. : 10 keV; 1.23× 10−11 m; 1.60× 10−15 J, 1.24× 10−10 m
2. An x-ray tube works at a DC potential difference of 50 kV. Only
0.4 % of the energy of the cathode rays is converted into x-rays
and heat is generated in the target at a rate of 600 W. Determine
a. the current passed into the tube,
b. the velocity of the electrons striking the target.
ANS. : 0.012 A; 1.33× 108 m s−1
42
PHYSICS CHAPTER 12
Exercise 12.1 :
3. Consider an x-ray tube that uses platinum (Z =78) as its
target.
a. Use the Bohr’s model to estimate the minimum kinetic
energy electrons ( in joule) must have in order for Kα x-
rays to just appear in the x-ray spectrum of the tube.
b. Assuming the electrons are accelerated from rest through
a voltage V, estimate the minimum voltage required to
produce the Kα x-rays.
(Physics, 3rd edition, James S. Walker, Q54, p.1069)
ANS. : 1.29× 10−14 J; 80.6× 103 V
4. A monochromatic x-rays are incident on a crystal for which
the spacing of the atomic planes is 0.440 nm. The first order
maximum in the Bragg reflection occurs when the angle
between the incident and reflected x-rays is 101.2°. Calculate
the wavelength of the x-rays.
ANS. : 5.59× 10−10 m 43
PHYSICS CHAPTER 12

Next Chapter…
CHAPTER 13 :
Nucleus

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