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Magic tape

Physicists discover an unexpected source of X-rays

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2:35pm, October 22, 2008

Magic Tape from Science News on Vimeo.

Even the lowliest kind of sticky tape can leave physicists befuddled. Unrolling tape in a vacuum produces X-rays — enough of them to do X-ray imaging, researchers have found. No current theory can explain such intensity of X-ray emissions, the scientists write in the Oct. 23 Nature.

Unrolling anything from regular sticky tape to duct tape produces a glow that, although faint, is easy to see in a completely dark room. The fact that X-rays, which are thousands of times more energetic than ordinary visible-light photons, can also be produced was first hinted at in a 1953 Russian experiment bu

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