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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One way insulation?

I know from basic physics lessons that a box painted black will absorb heat better than a box covered in tin foil. However a box covered in tin foil will lose heat slower than a black box. So what ...
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$\alpha$ 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 ...
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94 views

Where is radiation density in the Planck 2013 results?

I've been looking at the Planck 2013 cosmological parameters paper, trying to update my toy cosmology simulator with the most recent data. Most of the interesting values such as $H_0$, $\Omega_m$, ...
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444 views

Why does positronium decay into 2 photons more often than into 3 photons?

I cannot find the answer to the above question. I know that para-positronium is created with a probability of $25\%$ and decays into 2 photons, while ortho-positronium is created with a probability ...
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4k views

What common materials can effectively block infrared radiation?

I have a plastic container and want to make sure that infrared radiation (specifically, in the 750-850 nanometer range) cannot pass through it. Would wrapping it in aluminum foil do the trick? If not, ...
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121 views

Soft Bremsstrahlung: why $\hat{k}\cdot\mathbf{v}= \mathbf{v}'\cdot\mathbf{v}$?

On page 181 in Peskin & Schroeder they say that we consider the integral (intensity) $$\tag{1}\mathcal{I}(\mathbf{v},\mathbf{v}') = ...
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349 views

Transverse current equivalence in Coulomb gauge

I have a question concerning transverse (solenoidal) current in the Coulomb gauge. This current is the one that enables the radiation, since we have a wave equation for the vector potential: ...
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1answer
39 views

How did Lyman discover his series?

How did Lyman discover his series in hydrogen atom? How did he know that the final energy level is the first level and not the second or the third or etc.? Or how did the other scientists know which ...
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130 views

Do human bodies give off a consistent but unique radiation/electromagnetic/energy signature?

Is there any facet of the energy emitted by a human body that is consistent and unique - like a fingerprint, but a signal that could be detected by a remote device?
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192 views

The most stable metal for radioactive environment

Could you suggest which metal/alloy shows the least activation & better long-term stability for space (LEO, inside Van allen belts, deep space) applications? Or stability of construction ...
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664 views

Are these radioactive particle matter and air emmissions dangerous, 2000KM from Fukushima?

I have 2 questions, as a expat and new parent residing in Shanghai (2000km from Fukushima) where we are now experiencing radioactive fallout from the Fukushima Nuclear Plant (Japan), we can not get ...
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288 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 ...
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1k 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 ...
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117 views

Can a free hydrogen atom constitute ionizing radiation?

Radiation is basically just particles flying around, right? Are free hydrogen atoms just typically not moving fast enough to be considered "radiation"?
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340 views

Where does the excess energy emitted by a microwave go?

If there is nothing in the microwave, where does the excess radiation go? Why doesn't the radiation accumulate and blow it up? Should I cook two pieces of Canadian Bacon twice as long as I cook one?
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340 views

How is the Earth heated by a Full Moon?

While the moon is certainly not a good reflector of solar radiation, surely the radiation it reflects back heats the Earth (even if it is a terribly small amount). How would one go about calculating ...
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100 views

Background radiation: radon vs potassium 40

In doing a little research into natural background radiation, I came upon a table from the National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurement (NCRP). It shows that inhaled radon gas is by far ...
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1k views

Modeling incoming solar radiation

I want to write a model for estimating incoming solar radiation for a specific latitude on earth but I am struggling to find an appropriate source which shows the required equations for doing so. ...
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534 views

Radiation: Inverse square law

Gamma radiation follows the inverse square law, I understand this as "double the distance, quarter the intensity" So if you have a gamma source, at the source (distance = 0), the Intensity is $I_0$, ...
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216 views

Possibility for radiation in dark matter that is not interactive with regular matter?

Definition: Radiation in this case does not refer to electromagnetic radiation. It refers to any kind of emission of energy, even energy that does not interact with regular matter. Just like dark ...
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56 views

How can we detect cosmic background radiation?

From what I understand, CMB is the left over radiation from the Big Bang. As all matter, including the Earth, was made during the Big Bang and then as the universe expanded that matter/energy got ...
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60 views

Is a beta decay possible with out the emission of an electron in the process?

Is a beta decay possible with out the emission of an electron in the process ? Beta decay involves the formation of a proton and an electron from a neutron.
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471 views

How to interpret Stefan-Boltzmann's law?

The Stefan-Boltzmann equation states $e=\sigma T^4$, but how do we interpret this? Is this completely wrong: A body of size $s^2$ generates the radiation/temperature $T^4$ for a given size and a ...
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243 views

Ratio of radiation sources in the uranium cycle

Sorry, I know y'all are probably getting a lot of questions re: Fukushima, but I had a very specific one and no-one has been able to answer it. I am specialised in medical radiation, and have been ...
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872 views

What is a photopeak?

I'm currently studying for an exam, where I'm looking into decays and gamma radiation. I then have a diagram where there are stuff like "Compton scattering", "Single Escape Peaks", "Double Escape ...
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81 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 ...
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177 views

Does magnetic geometry determine the scaling of a Polywell fusor?

Does magnetic geometry determine the scaling of a Polywell fusor? Forgive imprecise terminology here - by "magnetic geometry" I mean the configuration of the magnets, the configuration that creates ...
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118 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?
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How to calculate gamma radiation shielding?

A device emits 0.2 ╬╝Sv/h of gamma rays. How thick does an aluminum sheet need to be to completely stop radiation from coming out ? What equation is to be used to calculate this ?
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48 views

Acceleration of electric charges and radiation

According to classical electromagnetic theory, accelerated charges should emit radiation and lose energy. The reason given in my book why atoms don't emit radiation (say, when the atom moves along a ...
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51 views

“Single-shot” Heat engine efficiency limits

The sun is 5778K and Earth is ~290K. Using the sun as the hot reservoir and earth as a cold reservoir we get 95% Carnot efficiency. However, the solar power efficiency limit is only 86%, see: ...
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65 views

Per unit of energy, what radiation is the most penetrating?

This question about nuclear reactor shielding got me wondering, what forms of radiation are the hardest to shield? I suppose Neutrinos will have to be excluded since they're the obvious winner. So ...
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33 views

Surface UV exposure with cooler star

If the sun's surface was ~ 4000K (and earth closer to compensate), the UV component of the radiation would be less. However, UV makes ozone via photolysis of oxygen. Also, the stratosphere would ...
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63 views

A problem concerning the change of temperature and spectrum of a filament

The spectrum of a filament has been given before, the left one having the lowest temperature, the middle with a medium temperature and the right one with the highest. My question is this: Why does ...
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Are scalars starting at around 1300 MeV analogous to some kind of sound in the vacuum glue?

Are scalars starting at around 1300 MeV analogous to some kind of sound in the vacuum glue? Background: There are scalars starting at around 1300 MeV which are probably some combination of ...
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Why is Neutron Heavier than Proton? [closed]

This is Neutron decay: $$n^o \to p^+ + e^- + \overline {\nu_e}.$$ and this is proton one: $$p^+ \to n^o + e^+ + \nu_e$$ so when the $e^+ =e^-$ and $\nu_e=\overline {\nu_e}$ why $n \not= p$? my ...
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267 views

What is the risk from radiation on imported food from Japan

I'm currently resident in Hong Kong a country which appars to import heavily from Japan. Last saturday 7th May I went to a restaurant: http://www.openrice.com/english/restaurant/sr2.htm?shopid=39760 ...
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947 views

Would a laser with four possible energy levels be better than three?

I'm wondering about achieving population inversion for a laser. I learned that without an active medium, it's not possible to create a laser with only two energy levels, but it would be possible with ...
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273 views

Can x-ray radiation be compared to background radiation?

I've been trying to learn about the possible effects of x-ray radiation from dental x-rays and most of the resources I come across compare the exposure to that of natural background radiation. ...
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219 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 ...
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3answers
62 views

light beams of the sun [closed]

We receive sunlight on earth surface. What type of light beams are these? Random/Parallel/Converging/Diverging I think it should be Diverging as Sun is radiating these beams away. But in one ...
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669 views

Why do electron-positron pair annihilate upon contact?

I'll a appreciate a layman's explanation, if there exists one, to this question that arose when reading an popular-science level article on Einstein and the $E=MC^2$ equation. What I mean is that, ...
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Detecting radiation from tritium keychain

I am measuring radiation from 6 tritium glow keychains. Usual gamma detector does not detect anything (this is expected), but on beta detector with thin window I am getting about 5 counts per second. ...
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How can scintillation gamma-spectrometers work given that track length is different for different angles?

As far as I understand, the basic principle of gamma spectrometer is simple - gamma ray hits scintillator, it generates number of photons which roughly proportional to gamma ray energy. Then we need ...
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132 views

How does heat energy travel in space?

How does the heat energy from the Sun reach us on the Earth? Since the kinetic energy of an atom is the amount of heat energy and there is no matter in space, how does heat from the Sun reach us?
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Is it possible to record the 'blue air" effect when a core goes critical?

I've been studying about radiation, and I saw something called the Demon Core. Apparently, it was a core that was under experimentation by the government in Los Alamos to see the exact point at which ...
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66 views

Range of electromagnetic waves

I was reading this article. There is a statement "It is a well-known fact that the telecom towers mounted with antennas in the lower frequency bands can cover far greater areas than those using the ...
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109 views

Why is the black body radiation so important?

In the derivation of the black-body radiation formula the assumption is made that the system is an electromagnetic cavity, so that it can be considered in thermal equilibrium. Leaving aside the fact ...
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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 ...
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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 ...