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The curve is the spectrum of the X-rays emitted by an X-ray tube with a rhodium target(bremsstrahlung). I don't know how do experimenters get it. Do they first measure the waveform of the radiation then perform Fourier transformation?

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Energy spectra like that are commonly obtained using energy sensitive photon counting detectors (such as cooled high purity germanium detectors). Detected photons are categorized by the amount of energy deposited within the detector. Collect enough of them and you get an energy spectrum.

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  • $\begingroup$ But how do photon counting detectors know the energy of the detected photons(in other words,what is the working principle )? $\endgroup$ – yztsz Dec 23 '17 at 2:20
  • $\begingroup$ Any textbook that covers radiation detectors will provide the answer to you. Generally it depends on the type of detector. Radiation interacting within the detector produces some kind of signal (light, electrical, or something) that's proportional to the amount of energy deposited. Detect the signal in some fashion and you can assemble a spectrum. $\endgroup$ – imabug Dec 23 '17 at 11:55

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