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Old 21 June 2013, 03:58 PM
A Turtle Named Mack's Avatar
A Turtle Named Mack A Turtle Named Mack is offline
Join Date: 21 June 2007
Location: Marietta, GA
Posts: 21,446

Originally Posted by Alchemy View Post
X-ray generating devices use high voltage to accelerate electrons, smack them into a metal target, and provoke excitation of certain types of electrons in the target. When these electrons relax to their original state, they release photons in the x-ray regime.

An x-ray source is really just a bunch of metal and electrical equipment, and it produces no radiation when powered down, because it doesn't actually contain any radioactive material. All the radiation is coming from electronic transitions and none of the nuclei in the x-ray source are ever changed. (Unlike, say, an alpha or beta source for radiotheraphy, which will contain radioisotopes.)
Obviously I have not kept up with tech developments in this area. I am guessing I am at least 30-40 years behind on this, although I can remember as recently as 10-20 years ago a problem with old x-ray machines being dismantled for recyclables by poor people in Latin America and the people being badly exposed to radiation from taking apart the protective housing.
Originally Posted by Little Pink Pill View Post
Can we still call it a Death Ray Gun? Because I really, really wanted to call it a Death Ray Gun. "The KKK and a Rabbi Save the World from a Death Ray Gun" is like the best/worst science fiction idea ever.
Sure, call it a death ray gun if you like - that's what it was, intended to be, no?
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