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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“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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78 views

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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3k views

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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287 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 $n\to p + e + \bar{\nu}_e$?
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295 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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103 views

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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346 views

Is there any difference between a proper photon and a photon of thermal radiation?

Does a thermal photon radiate spherically whereas a photon radiates in a circle/beam? How do you tell a thermal photon of, say 3 eV, from a photon of light?
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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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2answers
310 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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93 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 ...
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95 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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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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811 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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152 views

How does quantization solve the ultraviolet catastrophe?

I understand how classical physics leads to the UV catastrophe. But I cannot understand how quantization solves it. How can quantization prevent the body from radiating a lot of energy? I know ...
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160 views

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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130 views

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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71 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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Is the plasma state always visible?

All the examples of plasma I have come across are visible. Is there any plasma which is not visible? For example, during a dark lightening we don't see the radiation because its gamma radiation. Is ...
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85 views

Why do I get readings from my radiation meter with magnetized pieces?

What causes those radiation readings in my radiation meter (See the linked video)? Metal pieces were magnetized. Used radiation detector is RADEX RD1503. "Radiation" is not generated if the tube has ...
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3answers
304 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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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 ...
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2answers
264 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 ...
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914 views

Does an object's color change its rate of cooling?

The motivation for this question comes directly from this thread. The proposition is that the color of something changes how fast it cools (note: specifically the rate of cooling, not taking into ...
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691 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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43 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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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: $BE(^3_1\mathrm H)=8.48 \,\mathrm{MeV}$ $BE(^3_2\mathrm{He})=7.72 \,\mathrm{MeV}$ ...
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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, ...
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152 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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1answer
168 views

When (Exactly) Does Bremsstrahlung Radiation Occur?

Regarding the Bremsstrahlung Radiation emitted when a charged particle curves inside a uniform magnetic field; Is there a way of calculating the angle through which the charged particle will precess ...
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2answers
1k views

Why does a microwave oven affect other electronic devices

When I turn my microwave oven over the stove on, it will cause a motion sensor light in the hallway next to the kitchen to got off and on. This affect can be reproduced anytime. I did notice that ...
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429 views

Steady State Temperature of an Object Orbiting the Earth

This may be irrelevant or stupid to ask but I couldn't come up with a good answer. At least, we could not agree on with my friend the other day. I would like an estimate of the temperature of a human ...
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187 views

Is there a reason for photodynamic therapy to not cause cancer if mobile phones might?

I don't want to open a debate about whether cell phones can cause cancer, I read the thread: Could cell-phone radiation cause cancer? For the sake of this question let's assume there's a chance for ...
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3answers
73 views

Is the amount of radiation you receive in space constant regardless of velocity?

I'm only in high school, so this will probably have fatal flaws. So basically in space, there is bound to be stray radiation, whether from the stars, or cosmic background, floating around right. And ...
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47 views

Why is the graph of CMB/black-body radiation asymptotic?

Speaking of this graph of blackbody radiation, I see that the graph goes to 0 asymptotically: As we go to higher and higher frequencies, the energy of a single photon becomes increasingly high. ...
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34 views

What's wrong with this temperature-in-space calculation?

I'm trying to calculate the steady-state temperature of a body in space, but my numbers are coming up much too small. For example, for a 1-meter cube, I'm getting a temperature of 194 K (or -81 C). ...
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Why black body radiation is all over the frequency range

I was studying black body radiation and how quantization of energy solves the problem of ultraviolet catastrophe. But I have a very fundamental doubt. A black body can be assumed as a cavity with a ...
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22 views

Model to convert radiation data from one tilted surface to a different one?

I have measuring data of global radiation on a tilted surface (a solar collector surface). Now I need to do 2 things: split the tilted global radiation into its diffuse and beam parts calculate ...
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101 views

How can heat turn into light

I am confused about how hot surfaces can radiate light to their surroundings. When I shine a light on a surface the light turns to heat spontaneously, and when I leave that hot surface it radiates ...
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177 views

Maintaining local thermodynamic equilibrium (LTE) in radiating gas with a broad atomic transition line

Definitions / Background In LTE, Kirchoff's law for radiation holds: $$ \frac{j_{\nu}}{\alpha_{\nu}} = B_{\nu} (T) $$ where $j_{\nu}$ is the specific radiative emissivity, $\alpha_{\nu}$ is the ...
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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 ...
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1answer
63 views

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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60 views

Deriving Rabi rotation matrix

I want to understand where the matrix: $$ \left|\psi(t)\right> = \binom{a(t)}{b(t)} = \begin{bmatrix} cos(\Omega t/2)&-ie^{i\phi_L t}sin(\Omega t/2) \\ -ie^{-i\phi_L t}sin(\Omega t/2) & ...
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1answer
94 views

Calculating the number of quanta emitted as Cherenkov radiation in a wavelength interval dl?

This website gives an equation for it http://math.ucr.edu/home/baez/physics/Relativity/SpeedOfLight/cherenkov.html It appears as plaintext but this is what I believe it is parsed: $n = \dfrac{dl 2πα ...
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203 views

Is there a way to increase photon energy by decreasing its wavelength?

Can I decrease a photon's wavelength by a medium or a vacuum? Are there other ways of decreasing the wavelength?
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143 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. ...
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385 views

Has Bose-Einstein theory been considered for dark matter?

Has Bose-Einstein theory been considered for dark matter? The theory would explain why no measurable radiation is emitted due to zero temperature--its lack of interaction with other matter and its ...
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114 views

Solar Cycle UV Variation

The average energy we receive from the Sun is 1,366 w/m^2, and this only varies by 0.1% from the activity peak to trough of its 11 year cycle. About 9% of the energy comes from wavelengths less than ...