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By W. J. Meredith

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F o r interest, the emissions from the isotopes are also given. —SOME ELEMENT Sodium Phosphorus Iron Cobalt Strontium Iodine Iodine Caesium Tantalum Gold Radonf Radiumf CLINICALLY USEFUL RADIOACTIVE ISOTOPES MASS NUMBER (A) 24 32 59 60 90 131 132 137 182 198 222 226 ATOMIC NUMBER ( Z ) 11 15 26 27 38 53 53 55 73 79 86 88 HALF-LIFE 15 hours 14 days 45 days 5-3 years 28 years 8 days 2-3 hours 30 years 115 days 2-7 days 3-8 days 1620 years RADIATION Pr P Pr Pr P Pr py P r Pr Pr (X a t Parents o f radioactive series giving also P- and y-rays.

The wavelengths or energies of the emitted radiation) does not depend on the material but only on its temperature, so in the case of the continuous spectrum of X-rays the photon energies produced at any particular applied voltage will be the same whatever the target material. F o r any given generating voltage the peak radiation intensity occurs at the same photon energy, whilst, as already stressed, the maximum energy is controlled entirely by the peak voltage. It will be shown later that the penetrating power of an X-ray beam (often referred to as its quality) depends on the photon energy of its constituent radiation.

Hence, in spite of the production of an increasing quantity of the lower energies, the emergent radiation quantity falls off markedly at the lower-energy end, as shown by the solid line in Fig. 25. The shape of the spectrum is thus due both to the mechanism of X-ray production and its radiation attenuation in the target and in the tube wall: the maximum photon energy, as already described, depends on the maximum applied voltage; the minimum photon energy in the beam wall will depend only on any material through which the photons have to pass.

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