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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Measuring radon level

In theory what are the techniques used to measure the levels of radon in air? On which principle/law do they rely?
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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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Does blackbody radiation work like this?

In a blackbody object the photons are reflected back and forward. If I heat up the the blackbody object with microwaves or other types of photons the electrons in the wall would vibrate. When the ...
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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 ...
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Is terahertz radiation new?

Regarding the future applications of terahertz technology, I thought we already knew the entire electromagnetic spectrum. In fact we do not, terahertz lies between microwaves and infrared radiation. ...
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Beta-decay of the neutron

Could you please tell me, where can I find a straightforward calculation with all details of beta-decay of neutron? To find the amplitude and to square it is difficult, but possible. The main problem ...
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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 ...
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88 views

Trying to turn a nonlinear differential equation into a linear one

The problem I have today is to determine the differential equation for a square fin protruding from a wall that experiences surface to ambient radiation and has an internal heat generation of $\dot q$ ...
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137 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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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) ...
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278 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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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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105 views

Radiation at plate of vacuum tube

Say you have a vacuum tube, such as the kind used in old amplifiers, wherein electrons are accelerated from the cathode to the anode through an electric field. Presuming, for the sake of argument, ...
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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?
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“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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82 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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203 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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265 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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244 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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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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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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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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305 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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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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Absorption of radiation due to temperature

I was wondering if the temperature of an object affects the amount of radiation it absorbs. For example, if I have a box that is hotter, will it absorb more energy as compared to the same cooler box? ...
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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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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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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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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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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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157 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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206 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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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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376 views

Inverse Square Law in Beta Radiation

Setup: A radioactive source is placed at alternating distances from a Geiger Counter. Counts per second for 10 different distances (each spaced 1 cm apart) were taken for preset times ranging from 200 ...
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177 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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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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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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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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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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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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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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123 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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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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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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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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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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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 ...
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210 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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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 ...