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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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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60 views

Highest background gamma ray energy?

What is the highest naturally occurring gamma ray energy that you would see in background? And what is it is source?
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85 views

Earth's and Moon's outgoing radiation

Does Earth or Moon emmit/reflect anyother form of radiation than IR into space? I am especially curious if they emmit/reflect UV radiation. And if they do, where could I find an irradiance spectrum ...
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489 views

Is data which rides on the carrier frequency dangerous?

My understanding of broadcasting data via electromagnetic radition is, that the data "rides" on a carrier frequency on which it is radiated. I am aware of the fact, that those carrier frequencies are ...
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405 views

Any real life demonstrations of radioactive decay? [duplicate]

I'm skeptical about a lot of things in physics, but I have a great interest in it and I'm studying it in college next year. However I am very skeptical about some things. I find that for physics, it ...
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126 views

Extreme heating by Sun on Earth- Can eggs be fried?

Will it be possible to fry eggs in Sahara desert by just keeping them under the sun? If so, then will the radiated eggs be any different? Or will we have to use the solar cooking concept to some ...
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28 views

Carbon 14 disintegration

When $\beta^-$ disintegration happens to a Carbon 14 atom, a neutron "turns into" a proton, and an electron is emitted. Therefore the result of the disintegration is a Nitrogen atom plus an electron ...
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45 views

What is the energy threshhold to produce Cherenkov radiation?

I am in a nuclear course right now and am getting some misleading information from different sources. I am trying to figure out what the minimum total energy is that a proton must have in order to ...
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25 views

Does the W boson in beta decay affect the gravity generated by the system?

During beta decay we now know a heavy W boson gets involved temporarily. Would this potentially impact the gravitational field generated by the system as a whole? It doesn't seem like it should. Just ...
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33 views

What process happens in an IT nuclear decay?

I've been researching medical isotopes and alot of them decay by an IT path. Does anyone know what IT stands for? And what physical process is happening? Example: ...
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100 views

How does heat travel?

How does heat travel? I have two competing thoughts here!! Firstly some form of atomic/molecular process liberates a photon in the infrared region of the spectrum which is detected as heat by a ...
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116 views

Cobalt 60 beta decay

In the beta decay of an atom of Co60, the radiation you would expect is one or two gamma rays, plus an electron plus an electron neutrino (and in the nucleus Ni60+, if I understand it well). However, ...
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35 views

Explanation of binding energy in decays

Everyone knows that the mass of a system is less than the mass of its components, with the equation: $M = \sum_i m_i - BE(M) $ Now, if we consider a general decay, lets say $A \rightarrow \sum_i ...
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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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97 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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58 views

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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335 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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2k views

A hot object exposed to low temperature in a vacuum doesn't lose heat?

I heard somewhere that if the human body were exposed to outer space where the temperature is extremely low, the human won't actually feel cold because in a vacuum, the heat energy doesn't have ...
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285 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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41 views

How does “contamination” through (radioactive) radiation work?

Physically, what does it mean when people or objects are contaminated with radiation? Is it because they actually carrying heavy metal particles?
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45 views

Working out the penetration of radioactive decay products

From my understanding of the products of radioactive decay (alpha particles, beta particles, and gamma are all I know of), the particles (or energy I guess?) are stopped by a medium according to it's ...
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151 views

Does tin foil keep heat out?

For example, if i were mailing a box of chocolates and lined the inside of the box with foil, then wrapped the chocolate in bubble wrap and placed it inside the foil lined box, would the box heat up ...
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437 views

Deriving Gamow factor for potential with effective centrifugal potential term

I am looking at deriving an expression for the Gamow factor for $\alpha$-decay. I understand that the potential is the sum of the nuclear, electric and effective potentials: $$V(r) = V_N(r)+V_c(r) ...
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32 views

Why is 0 $\nu \beta\beta$ decay often written with electron emission and not positron?

According to http://www.cobra-experiment.org/double_beta_decay/ I can see that double $\beta$+ decay is possible, but I often find neutrinoless double beta sources with the double $\beta$- decay ...
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147 views

Calculating the Sun's emitted power in a wavelength range?

Is there an equation that describes the Sun's emitted power on the surface [in $\frac{W}{m^2}$] over a selected wavelength range (from $\lambda_1$ to $\lambda_2$) ? I am guessing this can be ...
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3answers
116 views

How damaging is light? [closed]

On Surely You're Joking Mr Feynman, when talking about the Trinity test, the author states: the only thing that could really hurt your eyes (bright light can never hurt your eyes) is ultraviolet ...
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91 views

X-ray production rate [closed]

A 100 MeV proton beam of $10^{14}$ proton/s is perpendicularly incident on a rhodium foil 25 $\mu$m in thickness. Estimate the production rate of K and L x-rays(use the figure below). So far I ...
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124 views

Physics and Skin Color: What differences do physicists observe between different skin colors?

I majored in social sciences, so I haven't taken a science class since 1999, so forgive me if I don't ask this right. What difference would skin color make from a physics perspective? Would there be ...
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48 views

How to measure the wavelengths of ultraviolet lines in the hydrogen spectrum?

how to measure the wavelengths of ultraviolet radiation isn't it invisible? it's possible to measure visible radiation but how to measure invisible radiation?
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50 views

Alpha scattering, observations and conclusions

For Rutherford's alpha scattering experiment where he fired alpha particles at a thin sheet of metal to determine the size of the nucleus, please can someone give me the direct link between his ...
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1answer
3k views

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 ...
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1answer
122 views

What type of Radiation hits Europa

I was recently reading the Wikipedia Page for Europa as I am interested in terra-formation. In one of the sentences, it says that: The radiation level at the surface of Europa is equivalent to a ...
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95 views

Nuclear transition notation

I have a question which asks me to determine what x is for the following nuclear transition $$^{29}Si(\alpha, n)X$$ But I don't have any idea what this notation implies. Another example: ...
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254 views

$\Omega_{r}$ from WMAP results?

To do some Friedmann-Lemaître cosmology calculations, I would like to know an estimation of $\Omega_{r_0}$ ($\Omega$ radiation today). WMAP 7 give estimation of $\Omega_{b}$, $\Omega_{c}$ and ...
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12 views

Measured temperature (thermometre set to emissivity of 1) of smooth surface too high or to low?

We want to measure the temperature of a smooth flat surface with a thermometre based on absorption of thermal rays. The emissivity setting of the thermometre is set to 1 (same as a black surface), ...
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36 views

Surfaces that reflect UV rays

I've been trying to research what surfaces reflect UV rays for the past day but it's been difficult coming up with definitive answers. So far what I've found is that surfaces that reflect visible ...
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173 views

Why do microwave ovens use radiation with such long wavelength?

According to Wikipedia: Consumer ovens usually use 2.45 gigahertz (GHz)—a wavelength of 12.2 centimetres (4.80 in). Typically, I put the dish inside the oven in its center. I suspect most ...
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42 views

Lethal dose of Gy's (Grays)

The unit Gray has the dimensions $\text{J/kg}$. I've read, that a dose of about 3-5 Gy's could kill a person within a few weeks - or at least that's usually the case. But I'm not really understanding ...
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47 views

Calculate transparency from Beer-Lambert Law

I want to calculate a transparency parameter for a superposition of several volumes containing media using the Beer-Lambert Law, which states that $$I/I_0=exp(-\tau)$$ where $I$ is the transmitted ...
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1answer
2k views

Absorption cross section and absorption coefficient

What is the absorption cross section, how is it measured? How to convert it to the absorption coefficient (measured in cm$^{-1}$)?
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1answer
81 views

Is it possible to generate electric energy from the radiation of radioactive materials

I wonder if it is possible to generate electric energy from the radiation of radioactive materials like nuclear waste? If it is then wouldn't that also mean that it could be used as an energy source ...
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107 views

internal conversion and the electromagnetic force

I have read that the mechanism behind internal conversion, in which a nuclear transition leads to the ejection of an electron in one of the lower atomic orbitals, is related to the fact that the ...
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1answer
107 views

Blackbody radiation and Spectral Lines [duplicate]

Blackbody radiation is thermal radiation from a hot object emitted over a continuous range of wavelengths. But why are spectral lines, lines (i.e., you only get certain wavelengths when an element is ...
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80 views

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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75 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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752 views

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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216 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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104 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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128 views

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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60 views

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 ...