Get ready for a long post. This is my question and hypothesis so far:
What trails do gamma rays and/or X-rays create in a thermoelectric cloud chamber?
Since both Gamma Rays and X-rays are forms of electromagnetic waves, they both follow the equations:
Ε = hC / λ
C = f λ
If a gamma ray and an X-ray have at least one electromagnetic property (wavelength, frequency, energy, etc.) in common, the two waves would be nearly identical. This is possible, considering that the energy range of an X-ray can overlap or even exceed* the energy range of a gamma ray created by nuclear gamma decay. The main differentiation between gamma decay and X-ray radiation is the source of the radiation. Gamma rays are emitted when a nucleus transcends from a higher energy state to a lower energy state. X-rays are formed when electrons from a cathode are struck against a metal target.
Although, gamma rays and X-rays are formed differently, the cloud chamber will not detect this difference, as the trails formed in the cloud chamber depend on the p article being emitted. Although gamma rays usually have higher energies than X-rays, both X-rays and gamma rays emit a photon, meaning both trails should be very similar.
Since a photon has no charge, it will not be able to directly ionize the particles in the cloud chamber. However, since gamma rays emitted by the uranium ore most likely have energy higher than 100 keV, Compton scattering can occur. When the photon collides with a free electron, a lower energy photon and the electron are emitted. The electron ionizes the vapor and creates a trail, while the photon may collide with another free electron to undergo Compton scattering once more. This process may repeat one or two times until the photon no longer has enough energy to induce Compton scattering.
Hypothesis Part 1: X-ray trails and Gamma ray trails should appear similar.
Hypothesis Part 2: X-rays and Gamma Rays should produce very short chain
reaction paths, with straight electron trails seen at short
distances from each other.
* Some X-rays created by linear accelerators, megavoltage cancer treatment, etc. can exceed the
energy range of “classical” X-rays and even surpass the energy created by nuclear gamma decay.
I've pretty much finished the typing portion of the project, and I'm getting ready to work on the display board. However,
it turns our I have more information than I have space on my display board. I was wondering if it would be okay to keep
my Abstract on a separate "buddy board" in front of the project.
I'm a bit of a procrastinator
and this project is due day after tomorrow. Any help would be appreciated.