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Radioactivity refers to the particles which are emitted from nuclei as a result of nuclear instability. Because the nucleus experiences the intense conflict between the two strongest forces in nature, it should not be surprising that there are many nuclear isotopes which are unstable and emit some kind of radiation. The most common types of radiation are called alpha, beta, and gamma radiation, but there are several other varieties of radioactive decay.
Though the most massive and most energetic of radioactive emissions, the alpha particle is the shortest in range because of its strong interaction with matter. The electromagnetic gamma ray is extremely penetrating, even penetrating considerable thicknesses of concrete. The electron of beta radioactivity strongly interacts with matter and has a short range.
The alpha particle is the heaviest. It is produced when the heaviest elements decay. Alpha and beta rays are not waves. They are high-energy particles that are expelled from unstable nuclei. In the case of alpha radiation, the energy The particles leave the nucleus . The alpha particle is an helium atom and contains two neutrons and two protons. It leaves the nucleus of an unstable atom at a speed of 16,000 kilometres per second, around a tenth the speed of light. The alpha particles is relatively large and heavy. As a result, alpha rays are not very penetrating and are easily absorbed. A sheet of paper or a 3-cm layer of air is sufficient to stop them.
Beta rays are much lighter energy particles. The beta particle is an energetic electron given off by the nucleus of unstable isotopes to restore an energy balance. They leave the nucleus at a speed of 270,000 kilometres per second. They can be stopped, for instance, by an aluminium sheet a few millimetres thick or by 3 metres of air.
The next "particle" is the very high energy "X-ray" called the gamma ray. It is an energetic photon or light wave in the same electromagnetic family as light and x-rays, but is much more energetic and harmful. It is capable of damaging living cells as it slows down by transferring its energy to surrounding cell components.
comes from the sun and outer space and consists of positively charged particles, as well as gamma radiation. At sea level, the average cosmic radiation dose is about 26 mrem per year. At higher elevations the amount of atmosphere shielding cosmic rays decreases and thus the dose increases. The average dose in the United States is approximately 28 mrem/year.
There are natural sources of radiation in the ground, rocks, building materials and drinking water supplies. Some of the contributors to terrestrial sources are natural radium, uranium and thorium. Radon gas is a current health concern. This gas is from the decay of natural uranium in soil. Radon, which emits alpha radiation, rises from the soil under houses and can build up in homes, particularly well-insulated homes. In the USA, the average effective whole body dose from radon is about 200 mrem per year while the lungs receive approximately 2000 mrem per year.
Our bodies also contain natural radionuclides. Potassium 40 is one example. The total average dose is approximately 40 mrem/year.
As a whole, these sources of natural and human-made radiation are referred to as background.
The average annual radiation dose to a member of the general population from ALL background sources is about 360 millirem.
This thread will continue in the following post.
Continuation of the opening thread.
Originally posted by theclutch
I wish I had a gieger counter. I'd go around everywhere testing everything to see what kind of an output comes off of power lines/sunlight/microwave/food/clothing/appliances/computer/ect ect. If anyone knows of tests like this being done please post a link. thanks
Radiation is not a hoax. However, the "what it can do" is.
1.How can it be that wildlife show to be less affected by radiation ? Are we so different ?
2.Are the ill effects of radiation not anywhere near as harmful as we have been told.
3. Could the source come from something else all together ? Since animals are not really effected.
4. The radiation poisoning from our governments actions, could it be proof of knowledge they didn't tell us about, or are they really that insane ?
Anders Moller from the University of Pierre et Marie Curie in Paris, France, and Tim Mousseau from the University of South Carolina (USC) in Columbia have been studying Chernobyl's bird populations.
"We find an elevated frequency of partial albinism in barn swallows, meaning they have tufts of white feathers," Mousseau said.
Late last year Moller and Mousseau published a paper in the Journal of Animal Ecology showing that reproductive rates and annual survival rates are much lower in the Chernobyl birds than in control populations.
"In Italy around 40 percent of the barn swallows return each year, whereas the annual survival rate is 15 percent or less for Chernobyl," Mousseau said.
Working in the Red Forest area, James Morris, a USC biologist, has observed some trees with very strange twisted shapes.
The radiation, he says, is confusing the hormone signal that the trees use to determine which direction to grow.
"These trees are having a terrible time knowing which way is up," Morris said.
More than sixty years after the test, residual radiation at the site measured about ten times higher than normal. The amount of radioactive exposure received during a one-hour visit to the site is about half of what a U.S. adult receives on an average day from natural and medical sources.
But Mousseau is less optimistic. "One of the great ironies of this particular tragedy is that many animals are doing considerably better than when the humans were there," he said.
"But it would be a mistake to conclude they are doing better than in a control area. We just don't know what is normal [for Chernobyl]. There just haven't been enough scientific studies done."