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Advanced Physics Laboratories

       
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X-Ray Spectroscopy

ABOUT THE EXPERIMENT

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. 

x-ray_sketch

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.

 

WHAT YOU WILL LEARN
  • PIXE:Particle-induced X-ray Emissions
  • Solid-state x-ray detectors
  • Moseley's Law
  • X-ray Forensics¬†
PREPARATION
  • "X-Ray Spectroscopy" 441-442 Laboratory Procedure
  • H. Haken  and H. Wolf, The Physics of Atoms and Quanta, Chap. 18.
  • Knoll, G., Radiation Detection and Measurement, 3rd Edition
  • McGervey, J.D., Introduction to Modern Physics
  • Eisberg, R. and Resnick, R., Quantum Physics of Atoms, Molecules, Solids, Nuclei, and Particles, 2nd Edition
  • Melissinos, A. and Napolitano, J., Experiments in Modern Physics, 2nd Edition
OTHER DOCUMENTATION