In industrial physical, energy conservation is one of the most critical aspects and important procedures. Whenever involved in manufacturing or development of any new electromagnetic component, the loss of energy needs to be conserved to avoid any losses that cannot not only be harmful for the resource optimization but also for the environment. Since loss of energy is because of the collision of ions and charged particles, it need to be better understood for further control and management.
Amount of Energy is released as the result of the processes carried out by the ions (Johnson, 2002). The respective paper is being formulated to discuss briefly the process of release of energy when the interaction takes place between the ionization radiations. The paper will only present an overview of the basic theories, phenomenon and the processes that result in the production of the energy as the product of the reaction. By the naked eye and as per the conventional mind of the layman, this energy loss is so insignificant that it can be barely felt or noticed. However, it is essential for the physicists and the nuclear scientist to observe and study this phenomenon of release of energy since “the detection of radiation is based on its interaction and the energy deposited in the material of which the detector is made; therefore to be able to build detectors and interpret the results of the measurement” (Tsoulfanidis, pg. 121), it is essential to have efficient knowledge of this phenomenon. Furthermore, it is also essential to gain an insight of how harmful or harmless can these reactions be if carried out, artificially or naturally at the larger scale.
Generally, the ionization radiations are categorized as three main types. These types are: Charges (this category includes the electrons, protons, positrons, deuterons, alphas, heavy ions); photons (this include the gamma rays or the X rays); and the Neutrons (Tsoulfanidis, pg. 121). This classification is done on the basis of the exclusive and unique properties of these ions.
Why Do Ionization Radiations Interact?
When a charged particle starts moving in the space, it starts interacting with the positive and the negative compositions of the atom as well. These compository particles are electrons (i.e. negative in nature) and protons (i.e. positive in nature). Every time the charged particle has an interaction with any of these particles, it loses some of its energy that was charged into it. After the continuous loss of energy, the charged particle stops. This finite distance covered by this particle is known as the range (Tsoulfanidis, pg. 122). This range is dependant on three factors. The factors are the type of the particle, energy charged into the particle and the medium through which the particle was transversing. Logically, there is no probability for the charged particle not to interact with any other atom while transversing through any medium. However, here it is essential to know that since, the neutron and the gamma rays are physically neutral, they may go through the matter, while revealing no interaction. Therefore, their range can also not be measured (Tsoulfanidis, pg. 122).
How the Energy is lost by the Charged Particles
The first mechanism that explains the loss of energy is of the Coulomb Interactions. This interaction generally takes place between the electrons and the nuclei. As per the researchers, the interaction carried out between the charged particle and the electrons is more significant as compared to the interaction taking place with the nuclei. In the process of Coulomb Interactions, the coulombs’ force is exerted. As a result of this force, often the energy is transferred from mobile particle to the bound electrons (Tsoulfanidis, pg. 123). Consequently, excitation or the ionization phenomenon can occur in the bound, quantized electrons. The collisions or the interactions that result in the excitation or the ionization are known as the Inelastic Collision (Tsoulfanidis, pg. 123). The Coulumb’s Force being experianced during this interaction can be calculated by:
where, F = Coulumb’s Force, k = constant, ze = charge on the particle and r = distance between the charges.
The Second mechanism of energy loss is known as the Brehmsstrahlung phenomenon. This emits energy as the result of the electromagnetic radiations. This process takes place during the deceleration or the acceleration of the charged particle. As a result of this motion, the particle is bound to produce electromagnetic emissions and the Kinetic energy is lost (Tsoulfanidis, pg. 124). The particles involved in this process are photons having the energy zero till the level where it equals the kinetic energy of the charged particle. Another interesting observation is that the energy produced by the light particle is greater in case both of the particles are travelling through the same medium. Moreover, if the medium through which the particle is transversing has higher atomic number, more energy will be emitted. Furthermore, an energy loss is also observed as the result of the Brehmsstrahlung emissions (Tsoulfanidis, pg. 129). The intensity of the interaction can be found using the given formula:
where, I = intensity of the interaction, a = acceleration of the charge, M = mass and ze = charge of the particle.
Energy Due to Ionization and Excitation
The third mechanism deals with the loss of energy due to the ceasing power exerted as a result of the ionization and the excitation processes. It is previously described, the ionization and excitation happens as the result of the exertion of the Coulomb’s Force (Johnson, 2002). As a result of ionization and excitation, the charge particles start colliding with several hundred millions of the electrons. Each of these millions of interactions have different amount of energy loss, which is practically impossible to measure individually. Therefore the average of the energies is measured per distance transversed (Tsoulfanidis, pg. 129). It is essential to view the designated formulas required to find the type of interaction ebing carried on.
The ions are constantly in motion in the free space; however they are not visible by the naked eye. As they transverse through the space, they collide and interact with several other matters and charged particles. As a result of the collision and the interactions energy is lost from the moving ions. This continues to happen until the ions stop at the finite distance. This distance is known as the range of the ion. The collision and the interaction can be of several types, most of which are beyond the scope of the paper. However some basic mechanisms of interactions and causes of energy loss are: Coulomb Interactions, Brehmsstrahlung, excitation and ionization. Furthermore, the types of interactions the photon has with the matter are: Photoelectric effect, Compton Effect and the pair production. There are many other mechanisms as well that are well beyond the scope of the paper.
David Arthur Johnson, Metals and Chemical Change, Open University, Royal Society of Chemistry, 2002, ISBN 0854046658
Nunez, R., P. M. Echenique, and R. H. Ritchie. “The energy loss of energetic ions moving near a solid surface.” Journal of Physics C: Solid State Physics 13.22 (1980): 4229.
Tsoulfanidis, Nicholas. (1995). Measurement and detection of radiation.