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Title: Gamma rays made on Earth have unexpectedly high energies

Abstract

Terrestrial gamma-ray flashes (TGFs) are the source of the highest-energy nonanthropogenic photons produced on Earth. Associated with thunder-storms - and in fact, with individual lightning discharges - they are presumed to be the bremsstrahlung produced when relativistic electrons, accelerated by the storms' strong electric fields, collide with air molecules some 10-20 km above sea level. The TGFs last up to a few milliseconds and contain photons with energies on the order of MeV.

Authors:
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22038535
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Journal Name:
Physics Today
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 64; Journal Issue: 1; Other Information: (c) 2011 American Institute of Physics; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA); Journal ID: ISSN 0031-9228
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
71 CLASSICAL AND QUANTUM MECHANICS, GENERAL PHYSICS; AIR; BREMSSTRAHLUNG; EARTH ATMOSPHERE; ELECTRIC FIELDS; ELECTRONS; GAMMA RADIATION; LIGHTNING; MEV RANGE 01-10; MOLECULES; PHOTONS; RELATIVISTIC RANGE; SEA LEVEL; STORMS

Citation Formats

Miller, Johanna. Gamma rays made on Earth have unexpectedly high energies. United States: N. p., 2011. Web. doi:10.1063/1.3541934.
Miller, Johanna. Gamma rays made on Earth have unexpectedly high energies. United States. doi:10.1063/1.3541934.
Miller, Johanna. Sat . "Gamma rays made on Earth have unexpectedly high energies". United States. doi:10.1063/1.3541934.
@article{osti_22038535,
title = {Gamma rays made on Earth have unexpectedly high energies},
author = {Miller, Johanna},
abstractNote = {Terrestrial gamma-ray flashes (TGFs) are the source of the highest-energy nonanthropogenic photons produced on Earth. Associated with thunder-storms - and in fact, with individual lightning discharges - they are presumed to be the bremsstrahlung produced when relativistic electrons, accelerated by the storms' strong electric fields, collide with air molecules some 10-20 km above sea level. The TGFs last up to a few milliseconds and contain photons with energies on the order of MeV.},
doi = {10.1063/1.3541934},
journal = {Physics Today},
issn = {0031-9228},
number = 1,
volume = 64,
place = {United States},
year = {2011},
month = {1}
}