Particle Induced X-Ray Emission - A Wave of the Future
Each and everyday scientific and technological advancements that have potential to better the future of the human race are being made. One of these recent and up and coming advancements is Particle Induced X-Ray Emission or PIXE. It works by shooting streams of single particles at an unknown substance. The substance reacts by emitting electrons or moving electrons in slight ways that create invisible light, or X-Rays. If there is a large enough quantity of the same X-Rays being Emitted, the energy can be measured. Then using the measured energy of the substance at the known temperature, scientists can decipher what the element or compound is. As of right now, PIXE is being used solely in labs and the details still need ironing, but it is on its way.
There are many possible practical uses for PIXE. One of them is that it may help us to understand our history. PIXE may be used to understand the materials that ancient artifacts or fossils are made of, and we can then use that information to further understand our evolutionary cycles. Another possible use for PIXE is monitoring pollution. The technique can be used to determine what gases and byproducts people and their products are producing. It can then help us eliminate these things and improve our environment. Asof now, it is nearly impossible to distinguish the lighter elements such as carbon or helium with the current technology. Despite this, PIXE is spreading quickly to laboratories with particle accelerators across the globe, and it will come as no surprise if it soon works towards bettering humanity.