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Imagine you somehow managed to maintain a body of plasma which had the same electron density as an identical volume of lead or other heavy metal. (Suppose you ionized lead.) Would it be a better gamma shield, and if so, how much better - could it even be completely opaque to gamma rays? What if you fully ionized the lead, so all the electrons were free?

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    $\begingroup$ Whether the electrons are in a plasma or not is irrelevant to interactions with gammas, pretty much. Note it would be really really hard to get the same density as all the electrons in lead. REALLY hard... $\endgroup$ – Jon Custer Jan 18 at 0:59
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    $\begingroup$ Is there some motivation for the question? $\endgroup$ – Ben Crowell Jan 18 at 1:25
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Such a plasma will have much less stopping power. The reason is that it is the core electrons - in the inner shells - that provide stopping power.

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