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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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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262 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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92 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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255 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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146 views

How to solve the Fukushima incident?

I am trying to find out if it is somehow possible to take all this nuclear material, put it in some type of gamma chamber or blast it with neutrons to change the uranium isotopes into something ...
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29 views

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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127 views

“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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105 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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454 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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656 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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244 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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900 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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157 views

Interaction of coherent X-rays with matter

If we could irradiate a metal or a plasma with a coherent beam of hard X-rays, would the main effect be an ordered oscillation of the electrons like with a classical EM wave, or "compton-style" ...
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2k views

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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59 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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404 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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290 views

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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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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245 views

Study of Black-body Radiation

Why did scientists study black body radiations from something as complicated as a hollow container rather than the radiation from something simple like a thin solid cylinder?
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226 views

What is weak interaction? I need easy and short answer

What is weak interaction? I need easy and short answer. I can't understand the definition of weak force. Why is it so difficult? Bosons, Mesons, Fermions, parity etc. Why the fundamental force is ...
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2k views

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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459 views

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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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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100 views

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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66 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 ...
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What is the shielding in nuclear reactors mainly against?

I have a little knowledge about ionizing radiation and I have been confused over why nuclear reactors need these massive shields. So, if I am not mistaken, Alpha and Beta radiation are not that ...
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266 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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412 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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32 views

Nuclear decay information

I'm looking at some gamma spectroscopy calibration data, produced by a known source (semi known... the source was last calibrated 2006...) My question is, looking at for example ...
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295 views

Why are we not affected by the radiation of the radioactive decay going inside the Earth?

I was reading the question Why has Earth's core not become solid?, and one of the answers says that The core is heated by radioactive decays of Uranium-238, Uranium-235, Thorium-232, and ...
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59 views

Energy Equation

I am reading a book on radiation and the author, while developing the equation of radiation transfer provides two forms of the equation, the second incidentally being more general and useful that the ...
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870 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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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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281 views

What is Equilibrium Equivalent Concentration (EEC)?

Recently I am doing a research about radon measurement. During the process I met two concepts named Equilibrium Equivalent Concentration (EEC) and Potential Alpha Energy Concentration (PAEC), but ...
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How do I build an alpha emitter?

I would like to build an alpha emitter. I suppose I had some vague idea of knocking the electrons off of some helium. But upon further examination the idea does strike me as...naive? My question is ...
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163 views

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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528 views

Is compton scattering only effective by x rayphotons and gamma ray photons

Can Compton scattering work with any other forms types of photons, and why was the the Compton Scattering experiment only done with x ray photons?
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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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214 views

Reflection, transmission, absorption…how to calculate them?

I was wondering whether there is an equation that enables me to calculate the reflection, transmission, absorption and polarization, when the electric field everywhere is given? Consider this: You ...
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289 views

Will the absorption of high energy gamma rays end up heating the absorping material?

By high energy I mean 100+ MeV gamma rays. I think that at this energy of photons, pair production is the dominating absorption process. So, as known, in pair production an electron and a positron ...
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120 views

Does halving the intensity of a gamma ray mean absorbing half its energy?

Say a 1 MeV gamma ray is shielded by 1 cm (halving thickness) of lead. Now, what does "havling the intensity" mean ? Like will the new gamma ray exit with energy of 0.5 MeV ? and by that we can say ...
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Determining energy of gamma-rays after alpha-decay of Am-241

So it turns into Np, and electrons just falling into 'free new' levels and emmiting, right? Give me a link where to read, please, if it's very easy to answer.
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233 views

How to choose a $\alpha$, $\beta$, $\gamma$ measurement detector?

There are many different detectors for different radiation,such as NaI,HpGe,CsI for $\gamma$ detection,and ionization chamber,proportional counter,Geiger counter for $\alpha$, $\beta$ detection,but ...
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Is deep-space radiation greater in the Sun, or in the shadow of Earth?

http://space.stackexchange.com/questions/604/is-it-possible-to-get-pregnant-through-natural-means-in-space indicates cosmonauts are at risk of irradiation whilst in space. What little I know about ...
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336 views

Would matter-antimatter annihilation create a fireball or not?

There has been a long discussion between me and Anna V on if the products of the annihilation will really cause a fireball to form and we haven't settled it yet. Our point here is that gamma rays ...
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323 views

How is the energy distributed in a proton-antiprotion annihilation?

I know the products of the annihilation, but I don't know how much energy each particle has or gets. For example I know that 1876 MeV is released for each annihilation. Now, this energy is distributed ...
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482 views

What is the halving thickness of diferent materials against high energy gamma rays?

By high energy gamma rays I mean 10+ MeV to 100 MeV. Is there a way to calculate it ? Also, at these high energies, do heavier elements like Lead for example still have the advantage over lighter ones ...
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388 views

What type of electromagnetic radiation strikes the Earth's surface the most?

If you can could you lists the types of light from the greatest amount to the least amount (Ex: Visible, Infrared, Violet).