X-rays emitted from an unusual source: sugar crystals

Skip to Navigation


  • Published: Nov 27, 2014
  • Author: Steve Down
  • Channels: X-ray Spectrometry
thumbnail image: X-rays emitted from an unusual source: sugar crystals

X-rays are emitted from crystal sugar when it is hit with a hammer in a near vacuum, say Japanese scientists writing in X-ray Spectrometry. They cut and shaped a commercial sugar crystal to 15 x 10 x 5 mm and measured the X-ray emission after impact.

X-ray pulses were observed for 4 ms after impact, reaching energies up to 250 keV, although many had energies below 20 keV. For this lower set of X-rays, with energies lower than 20 keV, the energy distribution peaks at 5 keV. When the same experiment was studied for a sodium chloride crystal, no X-rays were observed.

The phenomenon was attributed to the compression-induced accumulation of electric charge on the surfaces of the crystal. The subsequent electric field accelerated suspended electrons onto the surface to produce X-rays from the impact.

"We can say that an asymmetric electronic structure is one of the important factors to produce X-rays by fracturing materials in a vacuum," the researchers concluded.

Social Links

Share This Links

Bookmark and Share


Suppliers Selection
Societies Selection

Banner Ad

Click here to see
all job opportunities

Most Viewed

Copyright Information

Interested in separation science? Visit our sister site separationsNOW.com

Copyright © 2018 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. All Rights Reserved