Radiation (was: <Silly>: Help with question about web page access)

From: der Mouse <mouse_at_Rodents.Montreal.QC.CA>
Date: Wed Aug 18 22:19:16 2004

> I am told, for example, that it can be much more dangerous to swallow
> an alpha particle source than a gamma ray source because the alphas
> are absorbed by bits of your body and do naaty things, although
> sitting on the bench, the alpha source is the safer, since the
> radiation is trivial to screen out.

Trivial, as in a few feet of air is often enough. :-)

I suspect it also has something to do with the effects. If a gamma ray
_is_ absorbed, the nature of the damage it does is different from ditto
for an alpha particle (I don't know enough about the details of either
to say much more, but I do know they're quite fundamentally different).

> The normally-sane magazine 'Elektor' had a project [...] Yes, it was
> claimed to reduce radiation from the wall-wart.

Which it will.

Whether eliminating that radiation (which, I daresay, falls into two
main classes - 50 or 60 Hz electromagnetic, and black-body thermal,
which latter I think we can ignore) is worth doing is another question
entirely. Given how much mains-frequency radiation is flying around, I
have trouble taking seriously the idea that eliminating the tiny
fraction a wall-wart throws is going to make any difference - and
that's even if any of it has any effect, which I don't consider
anything like proven, much less that it has any _undesirable_ effect.

> Somebody really needs to give the public a decent scientific
> education....

Ah, but the problem there is, that requires a public able and willing
to accept a decent scientific education. It's extraordinarily
difficult to teach people who aren't the least bit interested in
learning what you're trying to teach.

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Received on Wed Aug 18 2004 - 22:19:16 BST

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