X-rays can penetrate matter and cause ionization.

X-rays are part of the same family as visible light.

x-rays travel at the speed of light.

x-rays can penetrate matter as well as travel through a vacuum.

X-rays have short wavelength and high frequency.

Typical x-ray wavelength is a nanometer i.e. 0.000000001m

Typical x-ray frequency is 10 to the power of 18 hertz

X-rays are electromagnetic waves of very short wavelength.

X-rays can penetrate matter.

X-rays affect a photographic emulsion in the same way that light does.

X-rays cause fluorescence in certain materials.

X-rays cause ionization.

X-rays are unaffected by electric and magnetic fields.

X-rays cannot easily be reflected or refracted.

X-rays may be diffracted by passage through crystals.

Comment on these properties:

Electromagnetic waves are caused by the acceleration of charged particles. These waves involve electric and magnetic fields vibrating transversely and sinusoidally at right angles to the direction that the wave is travelling. The waves do not require a medium for propogation and travel through a vacuum at 300 million meters per second.

The fact that the wavelength of x-rays is very short means that their frequency is very high. This high frequency corresponds to considerable penetrating ability, which obviously makes them both useful and dangerous.

X-rays are part of the same family as visible light but cause ionisation which visible light doesn’t. Ionising radiation is dangerous and exposure to it must be kept to a minimum.

The short wavelength makes diffraction especially difficult and only achievable by the tiny gaps found in the lattice of a crystal.

Wavelength of x-rays … of the order of … one tenth of a nanometer.

Frequency of x-rays …. of the order of … ten to the power of eighteen Hertz.