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Old 12-13-2010, 12:20 PM #17
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Default Re: Radon Lasers?

As for the radon laser being deadly: As long as the tube is sealed, i doubt exposure to it would be very dangerous. These heavy isotopes decay primarily by a and b emission, and only a small portion of gamma radiation.

The danger of radon in houses is due to inhalation: when it decays and blasts and alpha particle in your lungs, that will do damage. But the same alpha particle hitting your skin on the outside would probably be stopped by the outer layer of dead skin cells.

Exposure to small concentrations of radon is quite common - it vents up from uranium-containing rock/soil and ends up in peoples basements and even living rooms.


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Old 12-14-2010, 05:13 AM #18
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Wink Re: Radon Lasers?

I still would not want to use it personally especially because the gamma and maybe some beta particle could penetrate the glass, and if it broke...

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Old 12-14-2010, 10:05 AM #19
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Default Re: Radon Lasers?

The beta particles won't penetrate the glass at all, they only travel about 11cm in plain air, so if you compare the density of air with glass it definately won't come through.
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Old 12-14-2010, 10:25 AM #20
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Default Re: Radon Lasers?

I think some of the beta particles would get through, it can take upto 1mm of alluminium to stop them sometimes, alluminium is denser then (most), glass and the glass on gas lasers is quite thin, I think the majority would be stopped but some would deffienetly get through
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Old 12-14-2010, 01:19 PM #21
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Default Re: Radon Lasers?

And in all directions, and u most probably would be in a safe distance!
Last year i had lab work regarding beta, alpha and gamma decay...and sometimes we had the 6~8MeV alpha radiation...but we know its almost harmless in closed samples...

The one that ud have to be careful with was the gamma, but even so, id guess ur tube wouldnt even reach 5 uCi of gamma activity...its just plain harmless...unless ud just sit next to it the whole day.
And beta radiation has the thing that always has a neutrino (or anti-neutrino) attached to it (or if its a positron, the 0.511 KeV gamma isnt that bad) and the energy spectrum would mostly be in the low KeV region (as the whole decay energy will be distributed by the e-or e+ and the anti/neutrino).

Of course radiation is bad for ur health...but as long as ud stay around 1m from the tube, and not everyday, it would be almost harmless

As you said, the only problem would be breaking the tube...and then clean it with a broom...one of those small ones that u have to lean over...and then just spray the whole content through the air...i guess ud be calling an ambulance pretty soon
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Old 12-14-2010, 02:41 PM #22
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Default Re: Radon Lasers?

Yup, its safer than most people would think.

One concern with the beta particles is that they will generate brehmsstralung in the tube wall, resulting in some extra x-ray emissions.
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Old 12-15-2010, 11:02 AM #23
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Default Re: Radon Lasers?

but who cares for X-Ray emissions when there are gamma emissions there? xD
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Old 12-20-2010, 04:41 PM #24
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Default Re: Radon Lasers?

Radon in amounts necessary for a laser would have properties similar to it's parent radium, lots of deep red and violet blue lines, and would only work pulsed. It would probably have strong lines in the IR as well. Assuming you kept the tube hot, you would start getting red green and blue lines from polonium after a short time.

A tube with enough radium to lase would be dangerously radioactive, and would require an active source to replenish radon as it decays. Interestingly enough a polonium ion laser would be almost ideal as a metal ion laser. It would have a self vaporizing metal, it would be self priming, and make a beautiful white beam. It would also operate a voltage and currents similar to a small hene laser since a lot of the metal would be preionized. The only disadvantage would be a short service life and the little issue of what would happen if the tube broke... :O
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Old 12-20-2010, 04:58 PM #25
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Default Re: Radon Lasers?

Perhaps someone have already considered Po210 as heating element for a portable laser .....

http://www.defensereview.com/352003/TIS1.pdf

I just don't know if this is just a joke (thing that i hope), or if it's something serious (and in this case, i don't want to be near one of these units if someone shoot in them with a good old normal bullet )
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Old 12-29-2010, 06:44 PM #26
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Default Re: Radon Lasers?

sorry to say that .3 sec at 2KW will just badly burn, not kill. The weapon would only be effective at threat neutralizing if it were used to blind, in which case a q-switched yag would be a far better choice. I'm sure the soldier seeing their body armor smoldering will shoot back, and if by chance the bullet hits the polonium core of the weapon, which by necessity would be made of brittle boron nitride, it would kill the entire team of soldiers using the weapon.
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