Radiation is a process in which energetic particles or energetic waves travel through a medium or space. The particles or waves radiate (i.e., travel outward in all directions) from a source.

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Clarification on isotropic sources and fields

For an isotropic radiation field the net flux is zero, something I find quoted in a lot of notes and text on radiation. We often think of isolated stars as isotropic sources, but their net flux is ...
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25 views

Deflection Effects on a Solar Sail

Suppose I have a solar-sail-powered starship flying directly away from a star. The sail is flat and perpendicular to the direction of travel. Now, in order to make the trajectory more stable (we ...
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Is there a way to cause scintillation of air particles using an artificial source?

Is there an artificial source that can cause scintillation of air (nitrogen, oxygen, etc. )? What does it emit and what is the range?
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25 views

ionising atom(s) with gamma rays

if a gamma ray hits an electron and transfers energy, does it hit that electron (ionising the atom), transfer all its energy and stop or does it pass through multiple electrons, transferring a portion ...
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2answers
61 views

What Happens to electrons after Alpha Decay and Nuclear Fission?

Where do the electrons go? In alpha decay do 2 electrons follow the alpha particle and make stable Helium or does the larger daughter nucleus become an anion? Also what do the electrons do in the ...
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1answer
270 views

How hot would tritium water be?

I realize this is kind of a silly question, but if you have tritium water, with the tritium half life of 12.5 years, I expect it would be quite hot. (note, this is not a homework question, I'm just ...
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70 views

Can an element decay into an infinite loop?

I've been working on a problem and have been wondering is there any isotope of any element that beta decays under certain conditions but then under differing conditions the daughter nucleus electron ...
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1answer
66 views

Highest temperature possible to achieve using magnifying glass and sunlight [duplicate]

Temperature of the surface of the sun is about 5750K. Can you heat an object to more than 6000K using magnifying glass and sunlight? According to second law heat cannot be transferred from colder to ...
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3answers
67 views

If radiation didn't exist, would everything live longer? [closed]

I recently noticed that dying of old age is similar to a death by radiation - hair loss, weakened immune system etc. and I was wondering - Does background radiation limit our lifespan, or that of any ...
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1answer
33 views

Temperature effects on lead against radiation

I would like to know if bringing lead to near absolute zero temperatures would have any affects on how resistive it is against gamma radiation. It takes 40 centimeters of lead to reduce gamma ...
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2answers
52 views

What minimum energy is required to create tracks in a cloud chamber?

What is the minimum ionizing radiation required for that? I am currently living in Fukushima prefecture and I was wondering if let`s say a flower from my yard that emits 1 pSv will create visible ...
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1answer
52 views

How does radiation degrade mechanical parts and electronic devices?

I'm running out of places to look (lots of Googling, SE, [articles and books are too specific and never give a good overview]), and yet I am still unsure about how exactly radiation can degrade ...
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20 views

How to calculate material depth at which penetrating radiation direction becomes randomized?

Consider a very light particle impinging on a material composed of atoms which are effectively infinitely heavy (e.g., because they are bound together and stiff). If the scattering with nuclei is ...
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Klein-Nishina for estimating X-ray cross section

I'm looking at interaction probability for X-rays with water and DNA, and recently have starting reading up on the Klein-Nishina identities for differential cross section. When integrated over all ...
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1answer
16 views

Understanding view-/formfactor for radiation with a specific example

There is radiation coming from a point source (black body). How much of the total emitted energy (from the point source) hits a spherical surface given by $\phi = 0 - \pi $ and $\theta = 0 - \pi/2 $? ...
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2answers
59 views

Alternatives to the neutrino in the beta spectrum?

It is well known that the neutrino appeared to explain the power distribution in the beta decay spectrum. (see PSE) What other explanations candidates were available? It is stated that the ...
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25 views

Polarisation states in 1d?

I am working through a derivation of the spectral energy density in a 1d cavity. The derivation says that the number of modes (per unit volume) in a frequency interval $dv$ is given by: $$g(\nu)d\nu ...
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1answer
30 views

Can someone explain the radioactive decay of that would happen over time to a 1 cubic decimeter block of plutonium? [closed]

I just saw an article talking about naturally occurring plutonium on Earth and it said that some [or many or some other purposefully ambiguous statement] people think this element could [another good ...
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3answers
413 views

How do particles “know” when to decay?

So, as I understand it, in a substance that is made of radioactive elements, the half-life tells us how long until the half of those atoms decay into their next atom [is there a name for that: the ...
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1answer
21 views

Measured temperature (thermometre set to emissivity of 1) of smooth surface too high or to low?

We want to measure the temperature of a smooth flat surface with a thermometre based on absorption of thermal rays. The emissivity setting of the thermometre is set to 1 (same as a black surface), ...
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3answers
92 views

Is heat from a stovetop, transfered through convection, radiation or conduction?

It doesn't appear to be convection, as there are no moving objects (or are there); probably not radiation (?), so it is conduction? I really don't know much about heat transfer and thermodynamics, ...
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8 views

Annual Dose Equivalent Rate Formula

I know the main formula of dose equivalent rate (H) is: H= D * Q H (dot over) = H/t Dose Equivalent Rate (DER) The question is, if we already have DER in a unit (μSv/hour), and we want to find for ...
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3answers
719 views

How do we know that the cesium-beam frequency used in atomic clocks is always the same?

Atomic clocks use cesium-beam frequency to determine the length of a second. This has shown that the period of orbit of the earth is decreasing. But what experiment showed that cesium-beam's period ...
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2answers
2k views

Why doesn't the evening/morning sun feel much hotter on your face?

I understand that places on the Earth's surface get hotter in summer, and in the middle of the day rather than morning or evening, because the surface of the Earth is presented 'face-on' to the Sun at ...
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2answers
181 views

By what maximum amount can we concentrate sunlight?

This refers to a previous question re: Solar Cell Systems and as part of the answer the statement: If we concentrated sunlight to [the] maximum amount 42600× was given. My questions are: By what ...
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1answer
181 views

Increasing the efficiency of solar cell systems

As far as I know, there are currently two main approaches to utilising solar radiation for maximum energy conversion to electricity. These are either direct conversion to electricity, using ...
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1answer
90 views

What is the difference between zero background radiation and field background radiation in Nuclear Physics measurements?

Can someone please explain the difference between these two terms (Zero Background Radiation and Field Background Radiation) used in radiometric prospecting measurements?
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1answer
29 views

Carbon 14 disintegration

When $\beta^-$ disintegration happens to a Carbon 14 atom, a neutron "turns into" a proton, and an electron is emitted. Therefore the result of the disintegration is a Nitrogen atom plus an electron ...
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1answer
48 views

What is the energy threshhold to produce Cherenkov radiation?

I am in a nuclear course right now and am getting some misleading information from different sources. I am trying to figure out what the minimum total energy is that a proton must have in order to ...
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2answers
46 views

How does “contamination” through (radioactive) radiation work?

Physically, what does it mean when people or objects are contaminated with radiation? Is it because they actually carrying heavy metal particles?
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1answer
39 views

Surfaces that reflect UV rays

I've been trying to research what surfaces reflect UV rays for the past day but it's been difficult coming up with definitive answers. So far what I've found is that surfaces that reflect visible ...
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1answer
26 views

Does the W boson in beta decay affect the gravity generated by the system?

During beta decay we now know a heavy W boson gets involved temporarily. Would this potentially impact the gravitational field generated by the system as a whole? It doesn't seem like it should. Just ...
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1answer
109 views

Relationship between temperature and wavelength?

I am investigating the relationship between wavelength and temperature. As seen the figure below of Planks law What is the relationship between the lambda(max) and Temperature? or in simpler ...
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31 views

beta minus decay: expression for maximum electron energy

I'm having some trouble finding an expression for the maximum electron energy in beta minus decay. In the frame where the neutron is initially at rest, conservation of momentum reads: ...
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1answer
40 views

X-ray background radiation

I'm running an experiment in gamma-ray imaging (although the main emission from the decay of Am-241 is ~60keV, so much more in the range of x-rays). I'm curious as to the sort of sources that would ...
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1answer
27 views

Background gamma radiation

There are plenty of lists of sources of general background radiation, but can anyone reduce that list to the major contributing sources purely for background gamma radiation (specifically low energy, ...
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1answer
34 views

What process happens in an IT nuclear decay?

I've been researching medical isotopes and alot of them decay by an IT path. Does anyone know what IT stands for? And what physical process is happening? Example: ...
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2answers
113 views

Why the CMB has not been dispersed so far?

Imagine you have a box of black body radiation. What happens if you open the box for a long time? It becomes dispersed and no radiation remains in the box. Now, apply this example to the Cosmic ...
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2answers
229 views

Why do microwave ovens use radiation with such long wavelength?

According to Wikipedia: Consumer ovens usually use 2.45 gigahertz (GHz)—a wavelength of 12.2 centimetres (4.80 in). Typically, I put the dish inside the oven in its center. I suspect most ...
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2answers
53 views

Lethal dose of Gy's (Grays)

The unit Gray has the dimensions $\text{J/kg}$. I've read, that a dose of about 3-5 Gy's could kill a person within a few weeks - or at least that's usually the case. But I'm not really understanding ...
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42 views

How do experimental physicists know the decay path of transuranium elements ahead of time?

I have been watching (and enjoying) Dr. Poliakoff's YouTube videos on the synthesis of transuranium elements like Roentgenium and Copernicium, which decay so quickly that they are identified (if I ...
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2answers
30 views

Radiometric dating calculation [closed]

If a sample of zircon initially contains no Lead, find an expression for the ratio $$\frac{N_U}{N_{Pb}}$$ as a function of time? How do I do simplifications from this? Do I just go: ...
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2answers
33 views

Is the screen in CRT connected with a positive pole?

I don't understand this passage would you clarify it? "These electrons are then freed (liberated) from the metal and are then picked up by the screen, which is connected to a positive pole called the ...
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1answer
47 views

Working out the penetration of radioactive decay products

From my understanding of the products of radioactive decay (alpha particles, beta particles, and gamma are all I know of), the particles (or energy I guess?) are stopped by a medium according to it's ...
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34 views

Continuum Wave Function for the electron

I'm trying to understand certain processes like the photoelectric effect and Bremsstrahlung. In Bremsstrahlung I need to use the wave function of an electron coming from the continuum, and there is ...
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1answer
43 views

Spin and parity transition levels gamma radiation

Just a quick question regarding spin and parity. I am studying nuclear physics and I am just a tad confused with a concept about gamma radiation. Say I have ${^{20}_{10}Ne}$ And the lowest electric ...
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36 views

thresholds for Cherenkov radiation visible to the human eye

In pool-type fission reactors, the beautiful Cherenkov radiation from the beta decay of intermediate products seems to be a well-understood phenomenon. I am wondering what some ballpark figures are ...
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2answers
67 views

Where does the “Illumination Formula” come from?

I've been studying for the pGRE for the past couple of weeks (what a load of... nevermind), and one of the questions requires the use of what is apparently deemed the illumination formula, used to ...
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65 views

Why does a damped quantum harmonic oscillator have the same decay rate as the equivalent classical system?

$\newcommand{ket}[1]{|#1\rangle} \newcommand{bbraket}[3]{\langle #1 | #2 | #3 \rangle}$ Why does the decay rate for a damped quantum harmonic oscillator exactly match the classical limit? Background ...
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3answers
104 views

Why do neutrons decay after 6 minutes?

If I understand correctly, Beta decay only occurs when an atom (or in this case subatomic particle) is unstable. Are neutrons consider unstable? If so why? And if they are not unstable is there is ...