- Penetrating electromagnetic radiation emitted when the inner orbital electrons of an atom are excited and release radiant energy. X-ray wavelengths range from 1 pm to 10 nm. Hard X-rays are the higher energy, shorter wavelength X-rays. Soft x-rays or Grenz rays are less energetic and longer in wavelength. The short wavelength end of the X-ray spectrum overlaps the GAMMA RAYS wavelength range. The distinction between gamma rays and X-rays is based on their radiation source.
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