These waves are born in erupting stars, the destruction of electrons and the decay of radioactive atoms. And now, doctors have enough control and information about the effects of them to use them for surgery. These awesome waves are gamma rays. Gamma rays are the most energetic waves on the electromagnetic spectrum. Meaning that they have smaller wavelength and are way more powerful than other things on the spectrum like radio waves, x-rays, and Ultraviolet waves. Gamma rays are mainly produced by 4 nuclear reactions. Those four reactions are fusion, fission, alpha decay and gamma decay. Fusion is a proton on proton in the center of a star, making it luminous. Fission is when a massive nucleus from a cell like uranium splits and yields energy. Alpha decay is when the alpha particle of helium decays and tries to stable itself out. Lastly, gamma decay is a type of radioactivity in which some unstable atoms disperse lots of energy spontaneously. When any of these things happen, gamma rays are produced. Since gamma rays are apart of the electromagnetic spectrum, the gamma photons do not have mass or electrical charge and travel at the speed of light. There are also natural phenomenons that produce gamma rays like lighting strikes or terrestrial gamma flashes. Gamma rays have small amplitude and they are very fast. Gamma rays can be helpful as well as harmful. To kill cancers and other problems, such as tumors, doctors will in some cases use a “gamma ray knife.” The gamma ray knife is a machine with many beams of gamma rays that will focus on the cells that need to be killed. Because each beam is small, it does only little damage to other brain tissue. But where they are focused, the amount of radiation is intense enough to kill the cancer cells. Since brains are pretty ,sdjhfsdljhfasljhfajshdf im singin deck the halls it dont feel like chimas at all everybody blah blahblahkfjhgiudfhgliduuhfgsildgahfsidhfabskjhdkvhfhjfsdgfdgfhdhgjsadfghdafshhsjhgjkjhhhhhhhhhdelicate, the gamma ray knife is a safer way to do kinds of surgery that are very difficult with certain medical tools. They can also make food last longer, and can inspect castings to check for imperfections. However there are more bad effects than good. Examples of this are birth defects, cancer, radiation sickness, long term weakening of the immune system, hair loss, and many more. If earth wasn’t protected by the ozone layer, and was exposed to gamma radiation all the time, it would wipe out everything. Plants, marine life, and mammals. Gamma rays carry out energy using photons. Photons are a bundle of electromagnetic energy, and the unit of measurement for all light. It could be used to produce energy, but it would be very expensive and hard to find ways to keep the operators and public safe. There are few materials that gamma rays cannot go through. For example, many centimetres of lead or many meters of concrete will absorb gamma radiation and not let it pass through. So if you wanted to absorb gamma radiation, it is the thickness of the material which is important as well as the density of the material. This means that gamma radiation can go through both lead and concrete if the material in the path of the waves isn’t thick enough. But this also means it cannot go through layers of thick lead or concrete. Gamma rays do not need a medium to travel, thus making them possible to exist in space, unlike sound waves that cannot because it needs air to travel through. When neutrons collide, or a black hole is formed, a gamma ray burst (GRB) is formed. Gamma ray bursts are several bursts of gamma rays which accomplice with very intense energetic explosions. The gamma ray bursts that have been noticed in galaxies pretty far away and are the brightest electromagnetic event known to man in the whole universe as we know. weufkgasdljhfgalsdjgfakhsjdfgalhjsgdfahsdgfhlagfdhsglhjsdgfsakgfjhasdgflajhsdglafjshdgfljasdhbfljsdhfhjasddvfhjgsadhjfgjhsadyjhsuyeyhdhjfdhjdffdhjbfvbgshdbgalsjhdgflahsgfasdlkshglskjghThese bursts can last from milliseconds to a few minutes. Usually, an “afterglow” after the first burst, which then comes in longer wavelengths. These longer wavelengths can hit earth and wreak havoc. Thankfully today there is no known danger to earth from the GRB. They are too far away to be of concern, but professionals are looking at the possibility of stars closer to earth striking together and the dangers it could have on the earth’s atmosphere. Depending on how far or close it happens, the aftermath would be very devastating. Gamma rays were discovered in 1985 by Paul Villard, a French physicist that was working in Paris the same time as the famous Marie Curie was. Villard is pretty overlooked by other scientists for his effort to the understanding of the electromagnetic spectrum. Around 1900 Villard started to study the radiation from radium salts, including some provided by Marie Curie herself. He even identified beta radiation, which hadn’t been discovered yet. Because the beta rays are negatively charged, they got deflected by a magnetic field. But he also observed another kind of radiation that was unaffected by a magnetic field and was able to go through a very thin layer of foil. His discovery, which he presented in spring of 1900, didn’t get much attention at all. But scientists would finally confirm that Villard had discovered a new type of electromagnetic radiation, with more energy than even x rays. Following the Greek language, he named it gamma radiation.