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Old 21 June 2013, 10:23 PM
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GenYus234 GenYus234 is offline
Join Date: 02 August 2005
Location: Mesa, AZ
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Then use your freeze ray on them and you'll have all the time you need for a lengthy musical number.
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Old 21 June 2013, 11:16 PM
Alchemy Alchemy is offline
Join Date: 05 March 2001
Location: Plymouth, MI
Posts: 4,407

Originally Posted by Little Pink Pill View Post
Can we still call it a Death Ray Gun?

Originally Posted by A Turtle Named Mack View Post
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
Closer to 120 years.

X-rays are, by definition, produced through electronic transitions. There's a range where you can produce x-rays (from electronic transitions) and gamma rays (from nuclear transitions) of the same energies (the region between hard x-ray and gamma, around 100 keV). But the x-ray sources we're talking about here are based on Cu (or possibly Al) core electrons, 8 and 14 keV, respectively.

Originally Posted by A Turtle Named Mack View Post
Would such a method of generating x-rays be used in modern equipment? It seems much safer if you can just use a high-voltage x-ray generator w/ no radioactive materials involved to do so, whether for imaging or radiotherapy. OTOH, it might be cheaper and in a way more reliable (no dependence on reliable electricity) in undeveloped areas to use radioactive materials, despite the risks.
Good question.

Gamma rays are used for imaging by generating them within the body to be imaged and then detecting them outside the body. But as an "x-ray" image they're pretty useless; the adsorption cross-section of bone and soft tissue are pretty near indistinguishable at such high energy. Gamma rays just aren't produced at energies low enough for this purpose.

Originally Posted by A Turtle Named Mack View Post
Are cathode-ray tubes capable of being juiced up to the million eV level, or do they run into limitations based on the electron binding energy around the target atoms?
The latter - binding energy goes up with atomic number but you'll hit the end of the periodic table at around 100 keV. And well before that you'd be using targets that were unstable and naturally giving off gamma. If you want to stick with a CRT without any radioactive material, you'd pretty much max out at using a lead target and recovering x-rays at 73 keV. (Assuming you could build such a device.)

Producing x-rays in the ~100 keV range (that is, without a radioisotope) is possible but requires something more exotic than a CRT, such as a synchrotron or a free electron laser.

Last edited by Alchemy; 21 June 2013 at 11:30 PM.
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Old 22 June 2013, 01:06 AM
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Little Pink Pill Little Pink Pill is offline
Join Date: 03 September 2005
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Originally Posted by Alchemy View Post
That seriously made my week.
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