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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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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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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360 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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239 views

Reconstruction of information stored in an evaporating black hole from the emission spectrum?

For simple setups, where the radiation field deviates not too far from thermodynamic equilibrium (< 10 %), corrections to the Planckian thermal emission spectrum can be calculated (and measured) ...
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450 views

Absorption / Control / Reduction of EMF radiation using passive antennae & matched load

Wanted to understand the physics behind usage of passive antennae and matched load combination, to absorb, control and reduce the Electromagnetic-Field (s.a. due to microwave radiation from cellular ...
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322 views

Does neutron radiation form clouds?

I've heard a couple of scary stories from experienced accellerator physiscists about something called neutron clouds. Apparently, if you have an experiment like a fixed-target experiment that produces ...
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469 views

Interpretation of Wigner function in optics

I work in the field of synchrotron radiation sources where radiation (often x-rays) is produced from an electron beam going through magnetic fields. The quality of the resulting x-ray beam is ...
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546 views

Can two spaceships go fast enough to pass straight through each other?

Probability of interaction between two particles tends to wane with increasing energy. Technically, the cross section of most interactions falls off with increasing velocity. $$\sigma(v) \propto ...
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Light vs. X-ray interactions with Phosphor

Looking for some information on how light and xrays interact with phosphorous, or what might cause the following: Scenario A focus beam of light is directed at a phosphor plate at the same time as ...
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216 views

How is the “negative dispersion” derived?

I'm looking at Kopfermann H., Ladenburg R., Nature, 122, 338-339 (1928) and it appears Ladenburg in Ladenburg R., Z.Physik, 4, 451-468 (1921) was the first to discover the phenomenon of "negative ...
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177 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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4answers
669 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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340 views

Where does the excess energy emitted by a microwave go?

If there is nothing in the microwave, where does the excess radiation go? Why doesn't the radiation accumulate and blow it up? Should I cook two pieces of Canadian Bacon twice as long as I cook one?
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Maximum electron momentum in $\beta^-$-decay

This should be easy, but I think I have a mind-block... For $\beta^-$-decay, what is the maximum possible momentum for the electron? The two equations I can use are conservation of energy and ...
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Radiation dosage problem [closed]

A large room is filled with air polluted with Caesium-137 at an average density of 1 Cs-137 particle per $\text{cm}^3$. A human is sitting inside the room for duration of $T$. What is the total energy ...
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385 views

Without a reactor vessel breach, how does radiation build-up in containment buildings of troubled nuclear reactors?

It seems that at Three Mile Island and in Fukushima, there was a build-up of radioactive gasses, and other gasses like hydrogen in the containment buildings. Wikipedia says: The containment ...
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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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637 views

Sunflowers and radioactivity

I read yesterday that sunflowers were used and to cleanup radioactivity at Chernobyl and the Atomic Bomb sites in Japan and may be used as part of a campaign to clean up the Fukushima area. But my ...
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radioactive decay in molecular constituents [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What happens to chemical compunds that include radioactive nuclei, when those decay? Suppose a radioactive atom, which is incorporated in a molecule, decays? What ...
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Decay of massless particles

We don't normally consider the possibility that massless particles could undergo radioactive decay. There are elementary arguments that make it sound implausible. (A bunch of the following is ...
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322 views

Laptops in space

I was reading an article regarding the Shuttle's GPCs and how they stack up against commercially-made hardware on http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/shuttle/flyout/flyfeature_shuttlecomputers.html and ...
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What other shielding material than lead is effective against gamma rays?

As the question in the title states I am wondering what material can be effectively used to shield gamma rays apart from lead? I believe concrete is often used, but it is nowhere near as effective as ...
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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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Nuclear decay rate affected by sun and quantum randomness

If nuclear decay rate were affected by sun, then emission probabilities would be subject to sun state and its influence, so quantum randomness would depend on it, Would it still be truly random? One ...
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Transverse current equivalence in Coulomb gauge

I have a question concerning transverse (solenoidal) current in the Coulomb gauge. This current is the one that enables the radiation, since we have a wave equation for the vector potential: ...
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Tunneling of alpha particles

Consider this explanation of the alpha decay: It says The Coulomb barrier faced by an alpha particle with this energy is about 26 MeV, so by classical physics it cannot escape at all. ...
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623 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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Do and can phone signals come inside AC car which is glass-packed

Can phone signals penetrate glass, so can I expect phone signals to come if I am sitting inside a closed AC car. Thanks,
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Is there a way to decrease the rate of nuclear Beta decay?

In that question and its answers it was mentioned that you could trigger radioactive decay by bombarding atoms with gamma rays of the right energy level (there may be other solutions I do not know ...
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267 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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192 views

The most stable metal for radioactive environment

Could you suggest which metal/alloy shows the least activation & better long-term stability for space (LEO, inside Van allen belts, deep space) applications? Or stability of construction ...
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151 views

Oort Cloud Detection

The hypothetical Oort cloud is an explaination for long period comets. It presumably is made up of icy bodies orbiting up to 50,000 AU from the Sun. If so, shouldn't the Spitzer IR telescope have ...
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664 views

Are these radioactive particle matter and air emmissions dangerous, 2000KM from Fukushima?

I have 2 questions, as a expat and new parent residing in Shanghai (2000km from Fukushima) where we are now experiencing radioactive fallout from the Fukushima Nuclear Plant (Japan), we can not get ...
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108 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 ...
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What is the required thickness of concrete needed to entomb a leaking reactors emissions?

What is the minimum thickness of an aggregate concrete membrane to prevent radioactive particles from escaping a broken reactor? I am interested in calculating the amount of concrete required to ...
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262 views

$\alpha$ and $\beta$-decay, why don't they neutralize each other?

$\alpha$ radiation consist of positive charged helium nuclei, $\beta$ radiation of negative charged electrons. So why don't the $\alpha$ particles take those electrons to get neutral?
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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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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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406 views

Cosmic ray hazards

The Pierre Auger Observatory site mentions the detection of a 3E20 eV (48 J) cosmic ray whose energy, well above the GZK cutoff, was based on an analysis of its atmospheric shower. This was equivalent ...
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Why doesn't orbital electron fall into the nucleus of Rb85, but falls into the nucleus of Rb83?

Rb83 is unstable and decays to Kr-83. Mode of the decay is electron capture. Rb85 is stable. The nuclei Rb83 and Rb85 have the same charge. Rb85 is heavier than Rb85, but gravitation is too weak to ...
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Is there any thing other than time that “triggers” a radioactive atom to decay?

Say you have a vial of tritium and monitor their atomic decay with a geiger counter. How does an atom "know" when it's time to decay? It seems odd that all the tritium atoms are identical except with ...
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831 views

What temperature can you attain with a solar furnace?

A solar furnace is a device that concentrates the sun's light on a small point to heat it up to high temperature. One can imagine that in the limit of being completely surrounded by mirrors, your ...
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Creation of the Electromagnetic Spectrum [closed]

After seeing this image: http://mynasadata.larc.nasa.gov/images/EM_Spectrum3-new.jpg And reading this: "The long wavelength limit is the size of the universe itself, while it is thought that the ...
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Why some nuclei with “magic” numbers of neutrons have a half-life less than their neighbor isotopes?

It's easy to find the "magic" numbers of neutrons on the diagrams of alpha-decay energy: 82, 126, 152, 162. Such "magic" nuclei should be more stable than their neighbors. But why some nuclei ...
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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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Why did people expect the number of electrons emitted because of the photoelectric effect to rise with the radiation's intensity?

The number of electrons emitted because of the photoelectric effect rises with the frequency of the radiation is not influenced by the intensity of the radiation (As Chad points out, this is wrong, ...
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Would wearing clothing that is black on the inside and white on the outside keep you cooler?

The Straight Dope ran an explanation of why nomads often wear black clothing - it absorbs heat better from the body. On the other hand, white clothing reflects sunlight better. Is it possible to get ...