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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Algorithm for distribution of radiation

Unstable atomic nuclei will spontaneously decompose to form nuclei with a higher stability. What is the algorithm for deciding what sort of it is? (alpha, beta, gamma, etc. Also, given that alpha and ...
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Use of fission products for electricity generation

Why can't we use fissions products for electricity production ? As far has I know fissions products from current nuclear power plants create enough 'waste' heat to boil water; and temperature ...
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What is radiation(in simple words)? [closed]

I am a student who is interested in scientific facts. I want a simple definition for radiation. Neither too scientific, nor too simple.
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69 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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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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205 views

Why doesn't diamond glow when hot?

In an answer to this SE question, the respondent explains that heating a perfect diamond will not cause it to glow with thermal blackbody radiation. I don't quite follow his explanation. I think it ...
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Is it possible to avoid the radiation that caused the American flag turned into white on the Moon? [closed]

While lunar images have proven that the American flags planted during the Apollo missions are still standing on the moon, lunar scientists have now said that they probably no longer hold the iconic ...
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552 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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77 views

interior surface of furnaces

For industrial furnaces, in order to improve radiation heat transfer and save energy, some people say applying a high emissivity coating on to the interior surface of a furnace will do, while some ...
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207 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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is an electron gun dangerous?

Is an electron gun dangerous & what would be the repercussions to human tissue? If I were to do a DIY electron gun and put my hand in the beam would I regret it?
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138 views

How much power would a space craft's magnetic shield require? [closed]

I've read over the decades that a magnetic shield might protect a spacecraft from cosmic radiation. Its a fascinating idea that might only be theory or science fiction at the moment. In regards to ...
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507 views

The problem of self-force on point charges

Allow me to preface this by stating that I am a high school student interested in physics and self-studying using a variety of resources, both on- and off-line, primarily GSU's HyperPhysics website, ...
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Effects of microwaves on optical properties of human eye [closed]

I have read a long series of paragraphs on wiki. Previously I thought that microwaves are not harmful to living beings but Wiki does not claim this explicitly. while doing an experiment in my college ...
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69 views

How many radiotherapy sessions would it take to boil one cup of water? [closed]

Context: Gray (Gy) is a unit dose used in radiotherapy. It is defined as the absorbed energy of 1J per kilogram of matter. There is a wide misconception that ionizing radiation acts by heating ...
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0answers
55 views

What is the nature of energy? [duplicate]

In science fiction adventures, spacecraft are sometime equipped with "energy beams", i.e. devices that can project pure energy unassociated with matter. Is this possible? Is energy a "thing" in the ...
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68 views

Do molecular bounded systems shield or reduce neutron cross-sections?

When talking about neutron cross-sections, literature is usually investigating isolated cases of Neutron + Atom. Here, the abundance of hydrogen is dominating neutron fluxes through material. I ...
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58 views

$α$-decay and electron

I'm a Web developer and I'm working on a physic interactive Web page to represent how atoms interact. I'm reading information about α-decay and here is what I understand. Let's say we have a isotope ...
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48 views

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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305 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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245 views

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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606 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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116 views

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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93 views

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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96 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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263 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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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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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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289 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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107 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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724 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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486 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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958 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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423 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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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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256 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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584 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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273 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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621 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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428 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 ...