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Several sources I have found(e.g. https://www.quora.com/How-can-we-differentiate-between-x-rays-and-gamma-rays-if-both-have-the-same-frequency-and-wavelength) imply (at least to me) that there is a difference between x rays and gamma rays that have the same wavelength. The most common being is that they are produced from different sources, which is true, but does this matter? Surely, as electromagnetic waves(I would also not expect there to be any difference in quantum theory), they are the same thing just named differently. If I were to examine a wave in space that had a frequency in the overlap, would I be able to tell which one it was?

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  • $\begingroup$ en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gamma_ray covers this fairly well. The dominant convention these days is that they are named for the source, but astronomy uses an older convention, and differentiates them on energy. I could write a proper answer, but it'd mostly consist of Wikipedia quotes. ;) $\endgroup$ – PM 2Ring May 7 at 19:34
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They are the same. Completely and utterly identical; just different words for the same physical thing.

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  • $\begingroup$ Well, with the distinction being whether electronic or nuclear processes created them. But, yes, a photon is a photon (no matter how small). $\endgroup$ – Jon Custer May 7 at 19:25

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