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Sticky tape can be used to emit powerful X-rays

Posted on Saturday, October 25 2008 @ 03:20:05 CEST by


NewScientist reports scientists have discovered a new way to generate X-rays: by peeling tape.
Peeling ordinary sticky tape can generate bursts of X-rays intense enough to produce an image of the bones in your fingers.

Seth Putterman and colleagues from the University of California, Los Angeles used a motor to unwind a roll of sticky tape and recorded the electromagnetic emissions. Ripping the tape from its roll at 3 centimetres per second generated X-ray bursts of 15 kiloelectronvolts – each lasting one-billionth of a second, and containing over a million photons.

Putterman admits he is not sure exactly what is going on. "My attitude is to marvel at the phenomenon – all we are doing is peeling tape, and nature sets up a process that gives you nanosecond X-ray bursts."



 



 

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