2
votes
2answers
54 views

Leakage of X-ray radiation

Suppose a sample of strontium-90 is stored in a lead container with lead walls. It is know that X-ray radiation may be detected outside the lead container. After some discussion with my peers, it ...
1
vote
1answer
68 views

Cobalt 60 beta decay

In the beta decay of an atom of Co60, the radiation you would expect is one or two gamma rays, plus an electron plus an electron neutrino (and in the nucleus Ni60+, if I understand it well). However, ...
2
votes
3answers
98 views

Radioactive decay - What mechanism decides when an unstable nucleus decays?

My first question on Stackexchange (if it is formatted wrong or something please tell me so I know in future) - here it is: Given an unstable nucleus (exactly which nucleus is not particularly ...
2
votes
2answers
42 views

What is the distribution of energy between the alpha, beta and gamma particles emitted in nuclear fallout per one RAD?

I have been trying to find a relation to be able to convert from RAD to REM. What I found is that I need to know the "quality factor" as some sources call it, which is the effect of different ionizing ...
5
votes
2answers
162 views

Why is the spectrum of the $\beta$-decay continuous?

the spectrum of the Gamma and Alpha decays are both discrete, i.e. the $\alpha$-particles and the $\gamma$-rays take on only discrete values when emitted from a decaying nucleus. Why is it then, that ...
2
votes
3answers
79 views

Tritium decay is spontaneous even if the binding energy of tritium is higher than the binding energy of 3He. Why?

Given this nuclear reaction: $^3_1\mathrm H\to {}^3_2\mathrm{He}+e^-+\bar{\nu}$ and knowing the binding energies: $BE(^3_1\mathrm H)=8.48 \,\mathrm{MeV}$ $BE(^3_2\mathrm{He})=7.72 \,\mathrm{MeV}$ ...
1
vote
0answers
25 views

Question: if a nuclear reactor of a submarine explodes will it contaminate the surrounding waters? [closed]

After watching a Naval War movie I began to ask myself this question and I would like to know.
3
votes
3answers
992 views

Would being underwater help survive a nuclear bomb?

If I jump in my pool, on the river near my house knowing that a nuclear bomb, or atomic or H-Bomb exploded around 10 km from my house, would I survive? The way I see it is that water will protect me ...
5
votes
1answer
100 views

Energy balance for beta decay of cobalt-60

I am confused by a simple fact about the $\beta^{-}$ decay of ${}^{60}{\rm Co}$ nucleus. According to Wikipedia, the most likely decay branch is to an excited state of ${}^{60}{\rm Ni}$, see the ...
0
votes
1answer
46 views

Algorithm for distribution of radiation

Unstable atomic nuclei will spontaneously decompose to form nuclei with a higher stability. What is the algorithm for deciding what sort of it is? (alpha, beta, gamma, etc. Also, given that alpha and ...
1
vote
1answer
72 views

Use of fission products for electricity generation

Why can't we use fissions products for electricity production ? As far has I know fissions products from current nuclear power plants create enough 'waste' heat to boil water; and temperature ...
2
votes
1answer
52 views

Characteristic x-ray in energy spectrum

Context: Monte Carlo simulation of a linear accelerator photon beam. The energy spectrum for photons as calculated from the phase space files found in here has a peak somewhere near ...
4
votes
2answers
346 views

Why doesn't a nuclear fuel pool become irradiated?

Why doesn't the volume of water in a nuclear fuel pool become irradiated? Why wouldn't the water around the pool become radioactive and circulate around making the whole thing deadly? My question ...
0
votes
1answer
49 views

$α$-decay and electron

I'm a Web developer and I'm working on a physic interactive Web page to represent how atoms interact. I'm reading information about α-decay and here is what I understand. Let's say we have a isotope ...
2
votes
2answers
280 views

Measuring background radiation

We tried to measure background radiation using a geiger counter for a experiment at school. The meter showed $0.12$-$0.21$ microSv/h during the day averaging at about $0.14$ mcSv/h. As we tried to ...
1
vote
2answers
77 views

What causes different decays?

Nuclei spontaneously decay according to a certain decay rate. There are however different kinds of decay, alpha, beta, gamma... What causes then the nuclei, when they decay, to do so in one way of ...
3
votes
1answer
147 views

What determines the distribution of the energy between the beta-particle and the neutrino in beta decay?

When beta-decay occurs an electron or a positron is emitted along a neutrino or an antineutrino. The energy spectrum of the beta particles is continuous because, as I read, the energy is shared ...
0
votes
0answers
12 views

What are the coefficients of the Geiger-Nutall law dependent on?

The Geiger-Nutall law for alpha-particles predicts a linear relationship between the logarithm of the decay rate and the energy of the particle, and I've observed that in ln(decay rate) / (energy) ...
0
votes
0answers
25 views

Origin of the names for the decay chains

Is there any reason for the names of the decay chains? As shown in this chart (larger version here): only the Thorium chain starts on an isotope of the element it takes its name from, and it can ...
7
votes
2answers
195 views

How Does Lead Block Radiation

How is it that lead can block radiation, and things are lead lined. In the Indiana Jones 4 movie he climbs inside a lead-lined fridge and he somehow survives the blast and radiation?
1
vote
1answer
84 views

Is it possible to calculate the half-life of a nucleus?

Is it possible to calculate theoretically the half life of a nucleus (how?) or they are all known through measurements? As an example how do you calculate the half life of Carbon-14?
8
votes
4answers
2k views

Why aren't betavoltaics and alphavoltaics batteries widely used?

Betavoltaic batteries are devices which creates electricity from beta radiation of a radioactive material. Alphavoltaics operate similarly, using alpha radiation. The concept was invented roughly 50 ...
0
votes
2answers
181 views

1/r Counting Rate for Radiation Experiment

In an experiment performed in the lab, I want to justify that, when the width of the Geiger counter window is approximately the same size as the distance between the window and a mildly radioactive ...
1
vote
1answer
136 views

How to solve the Fukushima incident?

I am trying to find out if it is somehow possible to take all this nuclear material, put it in some type of gamma chamber or blast it with neutrons to change the uranium isotopes into something ...
3
votes
2answers
135 views

Can I excite an already unstable element for accelerated decay?

Say I had an unstable element ready to go through beta decay and I introduced it to high speed electrons: would this lessen the time needed for the product to go through beta decay?
6
votes
1answer
234 views

Would matter-antimatter annihilation create a fireball or not?

There has been a long discussion between me and Anna V on if the products of the annihilation will really cause a fireball to form and we haven't settled it yet. Our point here is that gamma rays ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

Would a matter-antimatter explosion cause fallout?

I know matter and antimatter annihilation release a lot of gamma rays which are considered ionizing radiation if I am not mistaken. But what if the explosion happened on the surface of the earth, ...
3
votes
2answers
834 views

What is the shielding in nuclear reactors mainly against?

I have a little knowledge about ionizing radiation and I have been confused over why nuclear reactors need these massive shields. So, if I am not mistaken, Alpha and Beta radiation are not that ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

Do brick walls effectively protect against ionizing radiation from a nuclear explosion?

Of course it depends on the distance and the amount of radiation, so let's say its about 10,000 Rad. Now, can wall made of brick protect someone behind it from such radiation ?
-6
votes
1answer
152 views

What's gonna happen if a nuclear bomb explodes nearby? [closed]

I live in the capital, 10 km from its center on the 9th floor, my windows facing the opposite direction will I still see a flash? Will I hear something? How loud will it be? How fast would I die? If I ...
52
votes
3answers
30k views

Why can Hiroshima be inhabited when Chernobyl cannot?

There was an atomic bomb dropped in Hiroshima, but today there are residents in Hiroshima. However, in Chernobyl, where there was a nuclear reactor meltdown, there are no residents living today (or ...
1
vote
2answers
1k views

Alpha particle and helium nucleus

The symbol for the alpha particle is α or $α^{2+}$, it can be written as $He^{2+}$. What I want to know is that, are they same? I mean alpha particle and helium nucleus are same or any subtle ...
12
votes
4answers
423 views

Why are alpha particles such a prominent form of radiation and not other types of nucleon arrangement?

It is said in many textbooks that alpha decay involves emitting alpha particles, which are very stable. Indeed, the binding energy (~28.3 MeV) is higher than for $Z$-neighboring stable isotopes. But ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

Kinetic energy of alpha-particle in $^{212}$Po decay

Admittedly, Nuclear Physics is not my strength. I'm writing a simulation to model alpha-decay. So far, I have looked up the values of the kinetic energy of the alpha particles that are emitted in a ...
1
vote
1answer
80 views

Nuclear transition notation

I have a question which asks me to determine what x is for the following nuclear transition $$^{29}Si(\alpha, n)X$$ But I don't have any idea what this notation implies. Another example: ...
-1
votes
2answers
807 views

Determining energy of gamma-rays after alpha-decay of Am-241

So it turns into Np, and electrons just falling into 'free new' levels and emmiting, right? Give me a link where to read, please, if it's very easy to answer.
0
votes
0answers
136 views

Beta decay for Ar-38, K-38, Cl-38

I want to prove that $^{38}Ar$ is stable with respect to $\beta$ decay, that $^{38}Cl$ decays by $\beta^-$ and that $^{38}K$ decays by $\beta^+$. I know from Googling that this is true, and I also ...
4
votes
1answer
74 views

$\alpha$ decay to more than one nuclear state

I do not understand how $\alpha$ decay can be a probabilistic process such that there are multiple products from the decay. For example: $^{241}\mathrm{Cm}$ decays to the excited states of ...
4
votes
1answer
154 views

Radiation exposure to a child who was briefly in the presence of an adult who had received a 18FDG PET scan

I am a physician who thought she was good at math, but apparently am not as I cannot figure out this mathematical/physics question. (My background is obviously NOT nuclear medicine!) A family friend ...
1
vote
1answer
175 views

Does the strong (nuclear) force ever contribute to decay?

Does the strong (nuclear) force ever contribute to decay ? Or is the weak nuclear force the only decaying force ?
2
votes
1answer
147 views

Alpha-stable isotopes

Why some isotopes with positive alpha-decay energy are stable? For example, alpha-decay energy of stable 194Pt is about 1.5 MeV. But there is no stable isotopes with positive beta-decay energy. ...
1
vote
2answers
380 views

Where does the “borrowed energy” come from in Alpha decay?

I was also thinking about the uncertainty principle in regards with energy & time. The question of something like: Alpha tunneling out of the nucleus is where this can be invoked, but having an ...
1
vote
1answer
60 views

References for nuclear masses, mass deficits, decay rates and modes

Where can I find the base data for computing the energy release of nuclear decays and the spectra of the decay products? My immediate need is to find the energy release by the beta decay of Thorium ...
2
votes
3answers
290 views

Neutron decay and electron anti neutrino $n\to p + e + \bar{\nu}_e$

Why do we need neutrino to explain neutron decay? Is there any evidence regarding existence neutrinos in the context of $n\to p + e + \bar{\nu}_e$?
10
votes
2answers
3k views

Why are alpha particles made of 2 protons and neutrons?

When experiencing alpha decay, atoms shed alpha particles made of 2 protons and 2 neutrons. Why can't we have other types of particles made of more or less protons?
6
votes
2answers
1k views

“Dear radioactive ladies and gentlemen” - Letter by Wolfgang Pauli

In 1930, Wolfgang Pauli wrote a letter to Lise Meitner for a convention in Tübingen, considering the problem of beta decay. Does anybody know, where to find the original letter online ?
0
votes
0answers
50 views

Problem on nuclear physics radioactivity [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How do we know that C14 decay is exponential and not linear? Please help me solving this problem. Find the half life period of uranium-238,if one gram of it emits ...
6
votes
1answer
347 views

Does neutron radiation form clouds?

I've heard a couple of scary stories from experienced accellerator physiscists about something called neutron clouds. Apparently, if you have an experiment like a fixed-target experiment that produces ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

Tunneling of alpha particles

Consider this explanation of the alpha decay: It says The Coulomb barrier faced by an alpha particle with this energy is about 26 MeV, so by classical physics it cannot escape at all. ...
4
votes
2answers
959 views

What is the required thickness of concrete needed to entomb a leaking reactors emissions?

What is the minimum thickness of an aggregate concrete membrane to prevent radioactive particles from escaping a broken reactor? I am interested in calculating the amount of concrete required to ...