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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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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133 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 ...
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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 ...
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64 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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79 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?
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229 views

Why don't we use beta radiation for making electricity?

Why don't we use beta radiation to make our electricity? Since it is an electron being released/made, it would make sense to try and capture it. But, we obviously don't so. What am I missing in my ...
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159 views

What does the decay constant mean?

In my curriculum, the decay constant is "the probability of decay per unit time" To me, this seems non-sensical, as the decay constant can be greater than one, which would imply that a particle has a ...
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146 views

Mean stopping range of $\alpha$-particles in air

I did an experiment in university in which I determined how far $\alpha$-particles emmited from an $Am^{241}$ source penetrate into air. I want to compare my result to literature values but... I cant ...
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200 views

Does brightness of the light remains constant with the variation of the distance with respect to the source in vaccum?

I have this question going in my mind from many days, i.e why brightness of light emitted from any light source around us decreases with distance? The brightness of light from tube light, streetlight, ...
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116 views

Interaction of coherent X-rays with matter

If we could irradiate a metal or a plasma with a coherent beam of hard X-rays, would the main effect be an ordered oscillation of the electrons like with a classical EM wave, or "compton-style" ...
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Is it Possible to Determine Radiation Levels Using Satelites?

Given recent events in Japan, this got me wondering. Is it possible to determine radiation levels reliably not having Geiger counters near the possible radiation contaminated zone? According to ...
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537 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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44 views

Proof of the inverse square law for a uniformly bright sphere

On page 8 of "Radiative processes in Astrophysics" by Rybicki and Lightman they have a proof that the flux of a uniform sphere is inversely proportional to the distance of the sphere from the ...
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162 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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265 views

Death by neutrinos - polonium go home

In Randall Munroe's What If? He is calculating the Lethal Neutrinos dose. If you observed a supernova from 1 AU away—and you somehow avoided being being incinerated, vaporized, and converted to ...
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221 views

What is the condition for accelerating charge to radiate?

I was always taught that any accelerating charge produces radiation, but I don't think this condition is sufficient condition. For instance, any free charge on Earth is accelerated due to Earth ...
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Kirchhoff law of thermal radiation

Kirchhoff's law of thermal radiation states that for thermal equilibrium for a particular surface the monochromatic emissivity $\epsilon_{\lambda}$ equals the monochromatic absorptivity ...
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192 views

Study of Black-body Radiation

Why did scientists study black body radiations from something as complicated as a hollow container rather than the radiation from something simple like a thin solid cylinder?
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158 views

What is weak interaction? I need easy and short answer

What is weak interaction? I need easy and short answer. I can't understand the definition of weak force. Why is it so difficult? Bosons, Mesons, Fermions, parity etc. Why the fundamental force is ...
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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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223 views

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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863 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 ...
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784 views

Can extra-solar gamma rays reach the Earth's surface?

Can gamma rays of high enough energy entering our planet's atmosphere reach the surface (50% probability)? Or, in other words, is there a window for extremely high-energy gamma rays like for the ...
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76 views

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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47 views

Definition of isotropy of radiation and its consequences

I have encountered different notions of isotropy of radiation and I would like to know if they are the same and what the exact definition of isotropy is, if one exists. Let's take black body ...
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24 views

Reliability of time dependent measurements

How is a "baseline" established. When an experiment is performed to verify the reliability of something like carbon dating. How do we know the results we get over the period of the test is still ...
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553 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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167 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 ...
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163 views

Conservation of mass-energy and nuclear transmutation

This may just be beyond the grasp of the everyman, but I'm trying, and failing, to grasp how conservation of mass-energy works in cases of beta decay and electron capture. A neutron has a mass of one ...
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29 views

Nuclear decay information

I'm looking at some gamma spectroscopy calibration data, produced by a known source (semi known... the source was last calibrated 2006...) My question is, looking at for example ...
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216 views

Why are we not affected by the radiation of the radioactive decay going inside the Earth?

I was reading the question Why has Earth's core not become solid?, and one of the answers says that The core is heated by radioactive decays of Uranium-238, Uranium-235, Thorium-232, and ...
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55 views

Energy Equation

I am reading a book on radiation and the author, while developing the equation of radiation transfer provides two forms of the equation, the second incidentally being more general and useful that the ...
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650 views

Wien's fifth power Law and Stephan Boltzmann's fourth power laws of emissive power

Wien's fifth power law says that emissive power is proportional to the temperature raised to the fifth power. On the other hand, the Stefan–Boltzmann law says emissive power is proportional to the ...
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1k views

A hot object exposed to low temperature in a vacuum doesn't lose heat?

I heard somewhere that if the human body were exposed to outer space where the temperature is extremely low, the human won't actually feel cold because in a vacuum, the heat energy doesn't have ...
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148 views

What is Equilibrium Equivalent Concentration (EEC)?

Recently I am doing a research about radon measurement. During the process I met two concepts named Equilibrium Equivalent Concentration (EEC) and Potential Alpha Energy Concentration (PAEC), but ...
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Jupiter radiation belt: where >MeV particles comes from?

When I read some discussion about exploration of Jupiter moons, or possibility of life there, a common argument is high dose of radiation in Jupiter's radiation belt (several orders of magnitude ...
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How do I build an alpha emitter?

I would like to build an alpha emitter. I suppose I had some vague idea of knocking the electrons off of some helium. But upon further examination the idea does strike me as...naive? My question is ...
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58 views

Are there isotopes that ONLY decay through beta decay?

Are there isotopes that only go through beta decay and nothing else to become stable ?
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114 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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243 views

Is compton scattering only effective by x rayphotons and gamma ray photons

Can Compton scattering work with any other forms types of photons, and why was the the Compton Scattering experiment only done with x ray photons?
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123 views

Something Weird About My Kurie Plot - Beta Spectroscopy

So I'm doing a Beta Spectroscopy of Sodium and apart from the Energy Spectrum, I'm intending to use the Kurie Plot to incorporate the Coulomb Correction Factor $F(Z,p)$. But when I try plotting the ...
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Why are umbrellas black?

Why are umbrellas specifically in black? Of course we do have colored ones, but black is the majority. Is there any scientific reason behind it?
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Reflection, transmission, absorption…how to calculate them?

I was wondering whether there is an equation that enables me to calculate the reflection, transmission, absorption and polarization, when the electric field everywhere is given? Consider this: You ...
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27 views

Is there a way to slow down radioactive decay (specifically beta decay)? [duplicate]

How would I, theoretically speaking, be able to slow down decay rates such as beta decay of an unstable isotope?
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2 ways to generate electromagnetic wave

According to Maxwell's equations, accelerating charges emit electromagnetic radiation. According to Quantum physics, heating causes electromagnetic radiation too. These 2 radiations, are they ...
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Will the absorption of high energy gamma rays end up heating the absorping material?

By high energy I mean 100+ MeV gamma rays. I think that at this energy of photons, pair production is the dominating absorption process. So, as known, in pair production an electron and a positron ...
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98 views

Does halving the intensity of a gamma ray mean absorbing half its energy?

Say a 1 MeV gamma ray is shielded by 1 cm (halving thickness) of lead. Now, what does "havling the intensity" mean ? Like will the new gamma ray exit with energy of 0.5 MeV ? and by that we can say ...
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622 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.
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191 views

How to choose a $\alpha$, $\beta$, $\gamma$ measurement detector?

There are many different detectors for different radiation,such as NaI,HpGe,CsI for $\gamma$ detection,and ionization chamber,proportional counter,Geiger counter for $\alpha$, $\beta$ detection,but ...
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Is deep-space radiation greater in the Sun, or in the shadow of Earth?

http://space.stackexchange.com/questions/604/is-it-possible-to-get-pregnant-through-natural-means-in-space indicates cosmonauts are at risk of irradiation whilst in space. What little I know about ...