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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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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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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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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The role of W bosons in the weak nuclear force and beta decay

I am a beginner Physics student and I am studying the weak nuclear force and how particle interactions work. Now, from my book and the Feynman diagram, I learned that a neutron can change into a ...
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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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804 views

Antimatter bomb

I stumbled upon this wikipedia article on antimatter weaponry. Being greatly appalled by the sad fact that large sums of money are being wasted on this, I could not stop myself from thinking for a ...
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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 ...
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187 views

How to block neutrons

What is a good way to block neutrons and what is the mechanism that allows this? It's my understanding that polyethylene is somewhat effective. Why?
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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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Why is the energy spectrum of alpha decay discrete?

Are the other peaks with lower energy caused by the possibility that daughter nuclei have to be in excited states?as show in this link (count versus energy)
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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 ...
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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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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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Question on Radiance equation

The radiance equation is $$ L = \frac{d}{dA} \frac{2(\phi)}{dW cos(\theta)} (watt/srm^2) $$ where $\phi$ is the flux. I am thinking, should not be the cosine term on the numerator instead of the ...
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637 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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264 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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What force decays an oscillating charge?

Consider this scenario: We have a charge on a spring. As it oscillates, it loses energy to radiation. What force decays the oscillation? As far as I can see, the only forces in the scenario are ...
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92 views

What does a supernova look like at its peak luminosity?

I know that in some types of supernovae, the cause of the increased luminosity is the radioactive decay of certain elements ejected during the explosion, so a question came to my mind. If the ejected ...
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101 views

Function to fit solar radiation data

I have ground-level radiation data of solar incoming radiation from a radiometer (cosine collector) measured along the day. In the following plot you can see PAR irradiance (ie visible light) in Watts ...
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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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181 views

How do gravitational waves sustain and propagate large scale spacetime curvature?

I understand that gravity in GR is a manifestation spacetime curvature dictated by the field equations by the principle that objects follow the geodesic path in spacetime. And, I get how ...
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227 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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32 views

What produces this 477 keV spectral line?

Question about a specific line on a gamma spectrum, here. Below is a background gamma spectrum observed by a Ge[li] detector. I've been able to identify all the lines with mostly certainty, apart ...
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How do we tell the CMB apart from other radiation?

Say I want to observe the CMB and the CMB only. I point my device (telescope in some frequency range) at the sky and start looking. How do I know it should be in the Microwave spectrum? How do I ...
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145 views

Does positron-electron annihilation preserve enough info to reverse exactly

An electron-positron annihilation can produce a pair of gamma rays. In the reverse process, known as pair production, can the gamma rays carry enough information to determine the resulting ...
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60 views

Frequency-averaged (gray) radiative transfer

The equation for radiative transfer is $$ \omega \cdot \nabla I = \kappa(B - I) $$ where $I$ is the intensity of radiation, $\omega$ is the ray direction, $\kappa$ the absorption coefficient, $B$ the ...
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What can make signal triangulation tricky?

Usually, when you're trying to find a source of whatever signal, you move around the source and then calculate the position using triangulation. I'm specifically talking about low frequency signals, ...
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How does gamma ray emission make an atom more stable? [duplicate]

One of the types of radioactive emissions is gamma emission. I understand how the other two types, alpha and beta, help to make the atom more stable. How exactly does gamma emission help to make the ...
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277 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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202 views

Cherenkov radiation and K-40

I am thinking if it's possible to detect Cherenkov radiation in water caused by dissolved natural potassium (KOH) in it without using photo-multipliers. The main question is does 1 beta particle ...
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97 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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166 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 μSv/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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Equivalent Dose absorption from Na22 source

No idea what exactly the rules are or how I should ask this question, but here's the verbatim quesiton: "A Na$^{22}$ source has an activity of 100 $ \mu $C. If you handle the source, how big is the ...
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Absorption coefficient from HITEMP or HITRAN [closed]

How to calculate the absorption coefficient (for radiation) from HITEMP or HITRAN databases? Or where can I find some tables or plots for the absorption coefficient?
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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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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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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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Will a microwave heat sand?

I want to cook Turkish coffee on heated sand at school. I have difficulty accessing some easier method of heating, so I was going to try to heat sand in a microwave. It was then pointed out to me that ...
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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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Can nuclear transmutation be observed in real time?

Ignoring the quantum zeno effect (if possible?), can we observe in real-time the transformation of one element to another? I'm talking about an amount visible to the naked eye where one could see ...
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What does the exponential decay constant depend on?

We know the law of radioactivity: $$N=N_0e^{-\lambda t}$$ where $\lambda$ is the exponential decay constant. My question is: This constant depends of what?
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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 $n\to p + e + \bar{\nu}_e$?
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Are dangerous rays emitted during Solar Eclipse?

It is said one should avoid staring at Sun as it can damage the eyes, but it is also said that one should not come out in sun during eclipse as it emits dangerous rays. Is that true? If yes, why?
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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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92 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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169 views

Solar spectrum units

Why is intensity $I$ on a graph of the solar spectrum always showed in units of $[\mathrm{W/m^2/nm}]$ instead of simply $[\mathrm{W/m^2}]$? (The y-axis on the graph.) It is apparently shown as ...
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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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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. ...