synchrotron radiation


synchrotron radiation

Electromagnetic radiation emitted by charged particles that are moving at speeds close to that of light when their paths are altered. It is so called because it is produced by high-speed particles in a synchrotron. Such radiation is highly polarized (see polarization) and continuous. Its intensity and frequency depend on the strength of the magnetic field that alters the path of the particles, as well as on the energy of those particles. Synchrotron radiation at radio frequencies is emitted by high-energy electrons as they spiral through magnetic fields in space, such as those around Jupiter. Synchrotron radiation is emitted by a variety of astronomical objects, from planets to supernova remnants to quasars.

This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
For the full entry on synchrotron radiation, visit Britannica.com.

Seen & Heard

What made you look up synchrotron radiation? Please tell us what you were reading, watching or discussing that led you here.

Get Our Free Apps
Voice Search, Favorites,
Word of the Day, and More
Join Us on FB & Twitter
Get the Word of the Day and More