# Thread: Electromagnetic Waves Smaller Than Gamma

1. Electromagnetic Waves with a shorter wavelength than Gamma Radiation:

-Do they exist in nature?

-Can they be artificially produced?

-Could they theoretically be artificially produced within the laws of physics as we currently understand them, even if our current technology doesn't allow us to do so?

-If yes (to any of the above), could they be as small as a single attometer?

-And if yes to that, how energetic would those waves be? How lethal to living organisms? How much more energetic and/or lethal to living organisms than Gamma waves?

Thanks guys. I need to know this stuff for a project I'm working on, if anyone knows these answers, I'd greatly appreciate it.

2.

3. Well seing as wavelength is given by this relation:

Where |\ is the wavelength
Where vw is the velocity of the wave, or rather more technically, the propogation velocity
Where f is the frequency

So to inrease the wavelength, or in this case decrease it you'd need the frequency to be a higher number or the speed to be a lower number. Good luck with the last one there .

Frequency is given with this equation:

Where f is the frequency of the radiation
Where v is velocity of the wave
Where |\ is the wavelength

In a vaccum replace v with a c (speed of light).

To get a small wavelength you'd need to vary Plancks constant, and that is not yet possible.

Frequency can also be found with this relation:

E = hf

Where E = the energy of the radiation
Where h is Plancks constant (6.626X10^-34J s)
Where f is the frequency of the radiation

Rearrange this to make f the subject, I don't know how to do this because Plancks constant is a small number. Ask the mathmaticians on this forum .

On a personal theoretical note, I have detected that it may be possible to include the Planck constant equation for the energy of a photon into the wavelength equation somehow. This may help make a master equation :-D. Hope I've been helpful.

SVWillmer.

4. Well, I really just wanted to know if they existed, I don't need to know their precise frequency.

5. Originally Posted by TheFinalSon
Well, I really just wanted to know if they existed, I don't need to know their precise frequency.
They have to somewhere. As the same as the opposite end :-D.

6. Ok thanks. And what about also, the other things....

-Can they be artificially produced?

-Could they theoretically be artificially produced within the laws of physics as we currently understand them, even if our current technology doesn't allow us to do so?

-If yes (to any of the above), could they be as small as a single attometer?

-And if yes to that, how energetic would those waves be? How lethal to living organisms? How much more energetic and/or lethal to living organisms than Gamma waves?

7. Originally Posted by TheFinalSon
Ok thanks. And what about also, the other things....

-Can they be artificially produced?

-Could they theoretically be artificially produced within the laws of physics as we currently understand them, even if our current technology doesn't allow us to do so?

-If yes (to any of the above), could they be as small as a single attometer?

-And if yes to that, how energetic would those waves be? How lethal to living organisms? How much more energetic and/or lethal to living organisms than Gamma waves?
1: Yes, by making the frequency higher, or the speed of the photon lower.

2: Yes, by making the technology. (Research Special and General relativity, it has quite a few more secrets to reveal :wink.

3: Yes, even infinitely small.

4:Put it this way, at infinite they would be everywhere at once, killing ever single one of us and separating even gluons between quarks naturally, maybe they existed once at the big bang? If not infinite in length, they would be more dangerous and hazardous to humans and all living organisms than gamma radiation.

8. Thanks, svwillmer. I'm just trying to figure, assuming there was somehow a way to precisely control where those waves were going, could you use them like a microscope to observe matter at a subatomic scale without completely destroying whatever you were looking at?

Let's say you had perfect control of those photons' position in space at any given time, just hypothetically, could you "gently" bounce them off of subatomic particles?

9. Originally Posted by TheFinalSon
Thanks, svwillmer. I'm just trying to figure, assuming there was somehow a way to precisely control where those waves were going, could you use them like a microscope to observe matter at a subatomic scale without completely destroying whatever you were looking at?

Let's say you had perfect control of those photons' position in space at any given time, just hypothetically, could you "gently" bounce them off of subatomic particles?
If the velocity of the photons remained relative as to preserve the frequency and wavelength, and if you could slow a photon down, yes .

10. Thank you. Hmm, interesting. :wink:

11. By definition, gamma is the highest classification of electromagnetic radiation. The highest energy rays are from cosmic radiation and are called "very high-energy gamma rays." I don't know if it would be possible to make them in a laboratory. They result from acceleration of charged particles by supernovas and pulsars.
http://www.newscientist.com/article.ns?id=dn7199

12. Other than turning guys named "Banner" into large, green monsters....What application would artificially created gamma rays have?

Just curious...just how high frequency are gamma rays?

13. Originally Posted by MacGyver1968
Other than turning guys named "Banner" into large, green monsters....What application would artificially created gamma rays have?

Just curious...just how high frequency are gamma rays?
Gamma rays are typically >10^20 Hz with quantum energy >1 MeV (10^6 eV). The consmic rays go up to 10^15 eV.

14. From Wikipedia (I know, the accuracy, but still):

The task is to measure an object's position by bouncing electromagnetic radiation, namely photons, off it. The shorter the wavelength of the photons, and hence the higher their energy, the more accurate the measurement. If the photons are sufficiently energetic to make possible a measurement more precise than a Planck length, their collision with the object would, in principle, create a minuscule black hole. This black hole would "swallow" the photon and thereby make it impossible to obtain a measurement. A simple calculation using dimensional analysis suggests that this problem arises if we attempt to measure an object's position with a precision to within a Planck length.
Key phrase: The shorter the wavelength of the photons, and hence the higher their energy, the more accurate the measurement.

The application I'm thinking of, though it seems kind of impossible without blasting things to quarks and gluons, which is kind of what this article about planck length is talking about in the first place, is to observe things way smaller than we currently can.

15. Originally Posted by TheFinalSon
From Wikipedia (I know, the accuracy, but still):

The task is to measure an object's position by bouncing electromagnetic radiation, namely photons, off it. The shorter the wavelength of the photons, and hence the higher their energy, the more accurate the measurement. If the photons are sufficiently energetic to make possible a measurement more precise than a Planck length, their collision with the object would, in principle, create a minuscule black hole. This black hole would "swallow" the photon and thereby make it impossible to obtain a measurement. A simple calculation using dimensional analysis suggests that this problem arises if we attempt to measure an object's position with a precision to within a Planck length.
Key phrase: The shorter the wavelength of the photons, and hence the higher their energy, the more accurate the measurement.

The application I'm thinking of, though it seems kind of impossible without blasting things to quarks and gluons, which is kind of what this article about planck length is talking about in the first place, is to observe things way smaller than we currently can.
Its a clever and ingiunuitive idea nonetheless and I for one look forward to the development of this theory .

16. Originally Posted by TheFinalSon
From Wikipedia (I know, the accuracy, but still):

The task is to measure an object's position by bouncing electromagnetic radiation, namely photons, off it. The shorter the wavelength of the photons, and hence the higher their energy, the more accurate the measurement. If the photons are sufficiently energetic to make possible a measurement more precise than a Planck length, their collision with the object would, in principle, create a minuscule black hole. This black hole would "swallow" the photon and thereby make it impossible to obtain a measurement. A simple calculation using dimensional analysis suggests that this problem arises if we attempt to measure an object's position with a precision to within a Planck length.
Key phrase: The shorter the wavelength of the photons, and hence the higher their energy, the more accurate the measurement.

The application I'm thinking of, though it seems kind of impossible without blasting things to quarks and gluons, which is kind of what this article about planck length is talking about in the first place, is to observe things way smaller than we currently can.
You will, unfortunately, come up against the immovable (physicists believe in principle immovable) barrier of the Uncertainty Principle.

Please note that higher energies can easily be achieved by using massive particles, like electrons - which is precisely why we use electron microscopes these days instead of photons, for higher resolution scanning.

17. But there's a size limit to what electron microscopes can see. What about seeing quarks? They can't see anything smaller THAN electrons, or, indeed, nearly as small as them.

18. To be able to "see" something, it has to emit light, which electrons do as they give off energy in the form of a photon and drop to a lower valence. We can "detect" things indirectly in other ways though.

19. Originally Posted by KALSTER
To be able to "see" something, it has to emit light, which electrons do as they give off energy in the form of a photon and drop to a lower valence. We can "detect" things indirectly in other ways though.
I was going to say that! Humph .

Never mind :wink:.

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