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Hank explains the whole story about radiation - the good, the extremely helpful, and the bad. Like SciShow on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/scishow Follow SciShow on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/scishow
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Text Comments (1743)
wait right here, imma go cromch some a l p h a p a r t i c l e s
Rabble Repository (1 month ago)
Cesium lol
Razar Campbell (1 month ago)
I've been watching these vids hoping to find out what IDTIMWYTIM stands for. FINALLY found it!!! Thanks Hank!
Tyrannasaur Russ (1 month ago)
Either the abbreviation "IDTIMWYTIM" is wrong or Hank is saying it wrong. "I Don't Think That Means What You Think It Means" would be "IDTTMWYTIM"... or is it a Meta-Joke, because IDTIMWYTIM doesn't mean what he says it means?...though I guess it still means the same thing...
teradon (2 months ago)
You said the acronym wrong
JB Ondarts (3 months ago)
I'm sorry but his explanations are not super clear. For starters, he assumes we know what ionization is...
James Rowland (3 months ago)
I'm bookmarking this and sending it to the next poor ignorant soul who claims that microwaves and cellphones are akin to chernobyl and hiroshima. Mainly because I get really tired of explaining it. This topic could easily be expanded to discuss the concept of ionizing radiation dosage and cover why a single dental x-ray is really nothing to worry about.
worlzz (4 months ago)
If you set the playback speed to 0.25 during the outro, it kinda sounds like a theme song in a videogame
haruno21 (4 months ago)
Radiation causes cancer and cures cancer stop, nature
Dave B (4 months ago)
When I was younger I worked t a store that sold direct TV. A lady asked me if the dish was safe and did it give off radiation. I said "It's safe because it only gives off 12 curies of gamma rays per day. Gamma rays have a wavelength much smaller then dangerous things like Xrays." She said (trying to sound smart realizing it was a dumb question) "Oh well that makes sense if it's the rays are shorter" So yes shorter is less then something so less must mean it's safer; that just common sense. Now if we didn't have consumer protection law and regulations all one line of reassurance and you can sell people something totally dangerous like the fluoroscope in the shoe store
zach landry (5 months ago)
Thx its help me at scoole
untilwhen username (5 months ago)
"If we use the word "radiation" like it's evil all of the helpful forms of radiation might get angry and go on strike, and then we WOULD ALL DIE!".
Kai Schreurs (5 months ago)
you should do (IDTIMWYTIM: entropy)
Zoelis17 (5 months ago)
I love you (in a non-marriage threatening way). You are just awesome. Thank you for being.
Allan Richardson (6 months ago)
Visible light can be thought of as "semi-ionizing" because even the lowest energy (longest wavelength) visible, red, although it does not IONIZE atoms, it can EXCITE electrons in CERTAIN PARTS of certain molecules, such as chlorophyll (the excited electrons fall back to unexcited levels, transferring energy to other molecules, in a chain reaction that ultimately produces GLUCOSE and OXYGEN (from water and carbon dioxide), for the plant, and eventually animals, to oxidize to make energy), and the pigments in retinal cells (the excited electrons cause chain reactions with other molecules to send signals to the optic nerve. Visible light also causes other biological reactions, none of which are harmful. Also, while "far ultraviolet" can cause cancer and sunburn, "near" ultraviolet, the shortest and "reddest" UV, causes vitamin D to be produced in the skin.
Svend Sømod (6 months ago)
I find it highly problematic to put aside possible dangers of radiation, given all the studies that show mutations and sterilization.
Sydney O (7 months ago)
I thought radio waves are used to transmit cell phone calls not microwaves
Greedy Baron (8 months ago)
How does Melanin work? why do we have skin color? and is it color or colour? wtf is going on?
Greedy Baron (6 months ago)
That is a very well said explanation. im grateful for the lesson taught John ;)
John Tate (6 months ago)
Melanin is evolved expressly to defend the skin against (UV) radiation damage, although strangely in spite of being very efficient at converting blue to ultraviolet light into heat, it does not correspond to a particularly high sun protection factor, so people with dark skin still need to use almost as much sun protection as people with pale skin. This seems to be the main evolutionary reason we have skin colour, and actually the evolution in the case of paler skinned people has been a loss of colour in order to increase efficiency in producing vitamin D in our skins in climates where we could otherwise become deficient in that vitamin, which is mostly produced in our skin rather than consumed in our food. It's colour or color depending on your country, both us Britons and Americans likewise have derived our word from a Norman French original, which was presumably similar to modern French couleur. Actually, the American version matches the Latin original from which the French word was ultimately derived, but given that the pronunciation does not correspond with either the Latin or the French and does not match the spelling either, I think we can fairly say that we're both making it up. No one spelling is better than another, they have just been chosen by someone along the way who said, "This is the best way to spell this word." The were probably wearing a shiny black hat of some kind. The kinds of people given to saying and writing those sorts of things often wore shiny black hats as far as I can work out.
Matt Markarian (8 months ago)
Slow down!
Deplorable American (8 months ago)
Cd-iLozytp (9 months ago)
Radiation is also a fan of earthbound.
Ivan (9 months ago)
It is acually IDTTMWYTIM
alsalazar ali (11 months ago)
what particles are moving through space?
False (11 months ago)
Please explain "decimate" to the masses. It's not exactly science, but it needs to be explained.
Existenceisillusion (11 months ago)
For EM, ionizing should start at 92 nm, a fifth the length of the shortest visible wavelength...very roughly speaking...and if I remember rightly.
Jess Stuart (11 months ago)
IDKWIDTIMWYTIMM I didn't know what I don't think it means what you think it means, meant.
Ben Cho (1 year ago)
Fun Fact: A common product of radioactive materials is Helium, since alpha particles are basically just Helium nuclei and beta particles are electrons, they combine and, boom, Helium.
As an 11 year old just learning this, I find he really breaks down the definition of it and this definitely helped me understand it more. It's also somewhat funny which makes kids enjoy it and probably memorize it better. I'll be sure to tell my teacher to share this with the class so whenever I talk about it people don't start staring at me like I just called their mom a fat ogre. Thanks, mate! :)
Miguel Rivera (1 year ago)
i would like to see a video done on desert mirage's
Yash Shah (1 year ago)
One question that I've always been wondering about: How did Earth get its magnetism like North Pole and South Pole?
Lord Reeve Johnson (1 year ago)
Cd-iLozytp (9 months ago)
Pres Juses Crust
Cronje (1 year ago)
Hey, just wanted to point out, you said that alpha is the least ionising and gamma the most. I am pretty sure however, that alpha particles are the most ionising but the least penetrating, while gamma rays are the least ionising and the most penetrating, and beta particles are in-between.
That moment when you are preparing a course and use SciShow's explanation instead of a direct quote from the oficial regulation because it was not as clear nor as easy to understand...
Rashmi Mahadevaiah (1 year ago)
Do using microwave to cook food cause problems?
Volodymyr Mykhaylyuk (1 year ago)
misleading a little...
Kelly Monaghan (1 year ago)
Comment 1,666
scitechian (1 year ago)
What about free neutrons? Those can blast right through the entire planet and keep going.
Max Pill (1 year ago)
So you always introduce the show as "I Don't Think THAT Means What You Think It Means.. wouldn't that be IDTTMWYTIM? .. not that it matters lol
Ajax (1 year ago)
Isn't cell phone signal closer to radio waves and Wi-Fi closer to microwaves?
Numitron (1 year ago)
Wi-Fi is 2.4GHz (even 5.8GHz nowadays) while cell phones (at least here in North America) uses bands from around 700Mhz to 2100MHz (2.1GHz). Historically, cell phones used lower frequencies while newer standards tend to use higher frequencies. This is why cell phone are still said to use normal radio wave despite both of them being in the microwave range. So... Yes.
weloveit24 (1 year ago)
If u just where my teacher! I LOVE THIS
Ben Sherson (1 year ago)
Aren't beta particles less ionizing (by 1/2) than alpha particles, but much better at penetrating things? In high school, we learned that ionizing ability goes down from Alpha to Gamma, but penetration goes up.
Kyle Schaff (1 year ago)
Ben Sherson Lol at penetration But yeah, alpha particles are much less penetrating than beta particles for two reasons: firstly, alpha particles are helium nuclei making them really big while beta particles are electrons an neutrinos which are volumeless and incredibly light. Second, beta particles are shot out near the speed of light (somewhere in the upper 90%) while alpha particles are fairly slow. To answer the ionizing part of your question, you are correct. Helium is the most electronegative atom on the periodic table, and it's an ion of 2+, so it will rip electrons from anything (even fluorine I believe). As for electrons (since neutrinos don't interact with anything really save bumping into crap sometimes), they are at high energy (since they're going to fast) so they can wreck shit, but aren't as bad as an He^2+ ion.
Retardo Madlantuta (1 year ago)
can visible light ionize? if not why are we worried about microwaves?
Borador123 (1 year ago)
Visible light is not ionizing just the uv rays and up.
VelocirapGirl (1 year ago)
I'm so scared right re0ply funny things to cheer me up D: 😓😟😟 😵😱
Cd-iLozytp (9 months ago)
why did the rubber chicken cross the road because the comedian lost his script
Tomasu Hope (1 year ago)
kill yourself
sebster2525 (1 year ago)
Marcus Zeender (2 years ago)
you should do an idttmwytim on terminal velocity, cause people don't think that means what it means
Layan Ahmed (2 years ago)
you should do (IDTIMWYTIM: entropy)
DynamicWorlds (2 years ago)
The cellphone cancer thing has always been absurd to me. Every part of your body is emitting infrared radiation just by being even close to Earth-like temperatures. Microwaves carry less energy to mess with your DNA than infrared radiation, which carries less than visible light. Basically, every atom in the universe warmer than the cold depths of space is emitting more energetic radiation than what your cell phone produces. Microwaves have about as much ability to change your DNA as sound waves do.
Josu Gambee (1 year ago)
I once heard this kid say "a girl got cancer in the same side of her head that she used her cell phone." That's like saying an elephant caused a building to collapse because it was the only elephant within 100 miles.
DYNAMIC (2 years ago)
I think it's a sound argument, I believe it's all business and politics people believe what they're told often... Then again your profile has a badass name, I might be biased.
kaseimir (2 years ago)
Question: Why doesn't radiation penetrate lead?
Numitron (1 year ago)
Radiation goes through lead, just like anything else (that isn't too exotic). Like in biology, it's the dose that makes the (nuclear) poison. Why most of the gamma rays of a source can't get through a meter of concrete ? The same reason it can't get through a few centimeters of lead, or a denser material. But get something like a sheet a few nanometers thick, and most of the energetic photons (the "rays") will pass through. The denser the material, the higher the probability that a photon will hit matter while it travels through it, and so be stopped before it exits the material. And so, the thinner your shield will need to be to protect from the same amount of radiation. Therefore, you would need 6cm of concrete to equal a 1cm thick lead shield!
teabing (1 year ago)
D Seidens (2 years ago)
Lead is dense enough that it takes in all of the ionizing radiation before it can penetrate like a net small enough to catch all those little radiation fish
Hotheal (2 years ago)
radiation is not waves or particles they are wave and particles at the same time correct?
David Pe (2 years ago)
probably one of the most necessary IDTIMWYTIM
Mr. E (2 years ago)
How do we eliminate nuclear waste safely instead of burying it like we doing now
Daniel Lewis (2 years ago)
You missed Neutron radiation.
swana butterfly (2 years ago)
hey would you make a video on how a transformer works :)
Matt Esses (2 years ago)
I think it has to do with the amplification of electrons through a electromagnetic and dense metal core to go into the circuit
Yoda on DMT (2 years ago)
So when we're talking about radiation, we're essentially talking about light/photons?
Darth Mortus (1 year ago)
+Victoria Random We can and we do. Virtually all Helium on Earth is the product of radioactive decay of heavier elements.
Victoria Random (1 year ago)
+Darth Mortus can we call the non photon radiation radioactivity?
Darth Mortus (2 years ago)
+Yoda on DMT Yes and no. As he said there is also particle radiation, essentially electrons (beta radiation) or the nuclei of helium atoms (alpha radiation) moving very fast.
fasdr (2 years ago)
um..... beta particles (electrons and positrons that are beta minus and beta plus) are NOT more ionizing than alpha and LESS than gamma radiation, they are LESS ionizing than ALPHA and MORE than GAMMA radiation.... but they travel bigger distance than alpha and less distance than gamma radiation.... alpha particles are helium cores (that's 2 protons + 2 neutrons for you) stripped from electrons and are BIG (compared to beta electrons and insanely enormous compared to gamma photons) hence the shorter travel distance (the bigger you are the more stuff you hit) and the bigger ionizing power (the bigger you are the more stuff you hit and the harder you hit) it's like comparing a whale a care and a mouse traveling at 100 miles per hour what does more damage?
Existenceisillusion (11 months ago)
fasdr Alpha has greater charge (+2) than beta (+/- 1) or gamma (0), and that is the reason it is more likely to interact, not size. However, from most to least ionizing alpha-beta-gamma, which is as you said.
Cyanakrli (2 years ago)
+fasdr another factor is that gamma photons and electrons are smaller compared to alpha particles. there is a good chance for a gamma photon to speed through your body without interacting with it at all. there is also the chance for an alpha particle to crash into your dead skin cells where it doesn't do anything significant either. the real danger of radiation is that you don't usually have one kind without the other two being present somewhere near, when a gamma ray ionizes an atom, that ejected electron becomes a free moving beta particle that can do damage somewhere else.
Sarah Haddow (2 years ago)
Hi. Could you do a video about the use of microwave ovens in more detail please? There's a lot of stuff going around on the internet that seems completely over the top negative so some clarity would be a good thing to have. Thanks.
darkimpp (2 years ago)
i agree, sarah. good idea!
Gets bitten by giant cockroach. +1 rads Dammit
Douchebag Dex (2 years ago)
+Anonymoose well if he put radroach the joke wouldn't really be there.
_Wave (2 years ago)
+Ender_Pro radroach*
Tempestml (2 years ago)
Hey Hank, I want to know why we can not utilize Radioactive waste ( like Alpha/Beta Particles ) to produce energy?
mariomba (2 years ago)
hi there! I found some "computer radiation protection classes" (by accident). I havent known much about computer radiation. Because I study the whole day with my laptop (and my eyes get tired in the evening), I researched a bit (but havent found sth really helpful). Do you think it's worth it to buy these glasses or is this just humbug?
Cyanakrli (2 years ago)
+mariomba just look out the window or at something very far away from time to time, this usually helps with eye strain.
Glacier Nester (2 years ago)
Dunno if it's just a placebo, but I have a set of the "computer radiation" glasses, and it does help with eyestrain from being on the computer all day.
Zminchu (2 years ago)
If you turn it to half speed Hank sounds like a drunk science teacher.
Rebeca Amador (3 months ago)
he so does
Anthony Dalamagas (6 months ago)
omg lmao 😂😂
Rambard (9 months ago)
To be fair he sounds drunk even without speeding him down :P
Imad Kharchouf (1 year ago)
Grant Lauzon (2 years ago)
+Zminchu Everyone sounds drunk when you do that. Especially if they are expressing personality.(2:28)
GabeLucario (2 years ago)
0:44 Infrared. Green.
t98765af (2 years ago)
Chemical, you know like "my product doesn't contain any chemicals," except water, and all the other ingedients...
AVNEET SINGH (2 years ago)
thanks bud....u r great......could u plz explain how d temp changes in atmosphere especially troposphere???
The Muslim Comb (2 years ago)
If a Microwave makes food warmer, do X-rays make them colder.
Fish Ed (2 years ago)
+comb528491 Ah. I didn't catch that sarcasm.
The Muslim Comb (2 years ago)
+Fish Ed Thanks! Though, I was trying to make a really bad joke. You know, since Microwaves and X-rays are equidistant to Visible light on the EM spectrum..
Fish Ed (2 years ago)
+comb528491 X-ray does not have temperature, nor do micro waves. Actually X-ray tubes are hot. The cathode heats up and ionizes giving off electrons which are moved to the anode at high speeds. As it hits the anode with tungsten, kinetic energy is converted to thermal energy and X-ray. Also, what makes the food hot in microwaves(machine) are the microwaves that vibrate water(and some food) molecules giving it kinetic energy. According to the Kinetic Theory, a higher kinetic energy would mean higher temperature.
Big League Gaming (2 years ago)
"IDTIMWYTIM" you don't even know what your own abbreviation mean????
Christopher Harper (2 years ago)
+George Rios maybe the extra I was added to balance the look of the abbreviation.
darkimpp (2 years ago)
+George Rios Lmao!!! Grammar troll......
Big League Gaming (2 years ago)
+Klaudio Prela it should be "I don't think it means what you think it means" if not the fix the abbreviation... Just saying
Klaudio Prela (2 years ago)
+George Rios yep that's it
Big League Gaming (2 years ago)
+Klaudio Prela he said "I don't think that means what you think it means"
mahesh vag (2 years ago)
I think you got the relative ionizing power wrong. Since alpha particles have plus two charge, they have the strongest ionization power. Now ofcourse because of their heavy mass they can be stopped quite easily, but, that's the penetration power right?
Cyanakrli (2 years ago)
+mahesh vag indeed. a helium nucleus will take any electron it comes across and once it has two it will never give them back. gamma radiotion is just as ionizing (two charges per particle) as the ejected electron itself can ionize another atom. the real difference is that there is a good chance for a gamma particle to speed through your body without hiting anything so you need to get exposed to quite a lot of it to be significant, while alpha particles, if they somehow get past the layer of dead skin cells covering most of your body, will deal some real damage and you won't need much of that to notice something is wrong.
james jones (2 years ago)
What about them Neutron radiations?
fasdr (2 years ago)
+Banderi first of all let me know a bit more than wiki (masters in nuclear physics and technology) second of all you did not understand what i wrote, neutrons INTERACT only directly electrons and alpha particles INTERACT directly and indirectly (because they have a charge) and photons INTERACT only indirectly (no mass) and IONIZATION is a direct function of the probability of INTERACTION, the type of particle/radiation (photons are not a particle) and the energy of the particle/radiation every type of particle ionizes in both ways but the probability is different depending on the type of particle and yes neutron direct ionization is highly improbable but it's not impossible the dominant effect is fission, fusion and beta or gamma emission but direct ionization is not impossible it's just highly unlikely
Banderi (2 years ago)
+fasdr According to Wikipedia, directly ionizing and indirectly ionizing mean two very specific things: "Neutrons have zero electrical charge and thus often do not directly cause ionization in a single step or interaction with matter. However, fast neutrons will interact with the protons in hydrogen via LET, and this mechanism scatters the nuclei of the materials in the target area, causing direct ionization of the hydrogen atoms. When neutrons strike the hydrogen nuclei, proton radiation (fast protons) results. These protons are themselves ionizing because they are of high energy, are charged, and interact with the electrons in matter."
fasdr (2 years ago)
+Banderi and the thing you said IS direct ionization (a physical hit to another particle - direct transfer of energy)
fasdr (2 years ago)
+Banderi actually they ARE directly ionizing, they ionize stuff by hitting it and removing other particles from the atom or by lodging themselves in an atom's core and forcing an atomic reaction governed by the particle and energy conservation principles the result of witch is either creation of a new element, transforming the neutron into a proton by emitting a beta minus particle and an anti neutrino (particle conservation principle), neutrons have almost no electomagnetic charge so they can't interact indirectly (by forcing energy without a physical interaction), photon radiation (gamma radiation) on the otherhand is the only radiation that's not directly ionizing (and it's not a particle) because it's an electromagnetic wave (a photon that has no mass) that is absorbed by an atomic particle and if the energy of that photon is at a certain level it can either excite that particle and when the particle that absorbed it relaxes it releases another photon with a different wavelenght or it can give enough energy to that particle (almost always an electron) enough energy to free it from the atom (photoelectric effect) they cant interact directly cause they have no mass, only charge....
Banderi (2 years ago)
+james jones Neutrons are not directly ionizing, but can emit ionizing proton radiation if they struck Helium nuclei at high speeds.
Alexandros Pappas (3 years ago)
how is radiation measured?
Fish Ed (2 years ago)
+Alexandros Pappas What type of radiation? I would assume ionizing radiation, measured with Geiger counter.
Shylok (3 years ago)
Even nuclear radiation is relatively mild.  True, gamma rays can be pretty deadly, but not always.
Nehemiah Antalan (3 years ago)
Finally! Hank explained it.. Now off to explain it to people telling me about false information about radiation, and then make them look pathetic even when they have brains..
Banderi (2 years ago)
+BenAddict19 I know right? It's terrible!
BenAddict19 (2 years ago)
+Banderi ahaha don't worry! Yea dealing with trolls becomes habit after a few hours on YouTube 😂
Banderi (2 years ago)
+BenAddict19 Ahah, it's alright. My bad, it's the habit of seeing too many trolls and stuff ;)
BenAddict19 (2 years ago)
+Banderi oohh right okay, yea you came across wrong hahah! okay i getchu! it annoys me that they haven't taken this down, i was revising for gcse's when i saw this! what if i diddnt know myself haha!
Banderi (2 years ago)
+BenAddict19 Yeah, everybody already pointed it out the mistake in the comments, you're kinda late. That still doesn't mean the video is false and the general information in it is incorrect. People do still believe anything associated with the word "radiation" is malicious, and in such context this video is more than plenty for them to listen to. I highly doubt anybody incapable of discerning between ionizing and non-ionizing radiation will bother to account in the order between alpha, beta and gamma.
Michelle Telfo (3 years ago)
which not only heat up our hot pockets...
Jesse Versluys (3 years ago)
pickled vegetables will mess up your insides... needs more study indeed
Matthew Turner (3 years ago)
+Rob Fraser Wasnt a spot of pickled cabbage responsible for all the crazy visions Ebenezer Scrooge was seeing?
Rob Fraser (3 years ago)
+Jesse Versluys Actually broccoli in vinegar or a spot of pickled cabbage will clean out your insides, and then any room you are in for several hours afterwards.  People will again return to the room once all of the evil that was inside you also leaves the room - opening a window helps.
BenAddict19 (3 years ago)
😂😂😂😂 this is so wrong! Alpha radiation is much more ionizing than beta, its just that alpha has such weak penetration values that the dead cells on your skin stop it... If alpha got near your live cells (ie an open wound or ingestion) you can say bye bye to life... Unless you have really good T cells... If that was the case the government would kidnap you... I'll stop now.
Brandon Fisher (2 years ago)
+TBomb15 Correction: potassium-40 only undergoes electron capture and β decay it does not undergo α decay. Usually it's only elements with high atomic numbers like thorium (90) and (92) uranium that can do that.  Potassium's atomic number is only 19 (which is typically too small) so its radioisotopes (including K40) typically don't undergo α decay though according to some sources some of its synthetic isotopes do :-)
BenAddict19 (2 years ago)
+TBomb15 and more on alpha, since it has no electrons, it has only its protons to provide its +2 charge, making it more ionizing than the betas -1 charge from its single electron... poor lonely guy :(
BenAddict19 (2 years ago)
+BenAddict19 And more on gamma, what you are saying about gamma is right, but i never said it wasnt this way, besides saying it isn't very harmful, but it isn't usually!
BenAddict19 (2 years ago)
+TBomb15 a bannana is less than 1% of the radiation that we would receive every day from background radiation.... its not a problem! Alpha radiation is a very large atom, it is the size of a helium atom but without electrons, this means that as it passes through other atoms it is very likely to collide with its nucleus and stop, thus why it can be stopped by a sheet of paper. but if it gets to live cells it can very easily ionize the atoms within cells, mutate DNA and really fuck things up. beta radiation is only one electron, so its very small and not likely to hit atom nucleouses, but it can still disturb bonding and if that was within a persons DNA it would be a problem. i never said gamma was very ionizing, gamma is a wave as you have stated, and we are constantly exposed to gamma, even under ground! Gamma will very rarely cause damage though.
Naveron (2 years ago)
+BenAddict19 I have so many issues with what you have said. First, have you ever eaten a banana? because if you have, you've had a substance that emits alpha particles inside you. an isotope of potassium is radioactive, and undergoes alpha decay. By your logic, those alpha particles hitting the living cells in your intestines should kill us. Second, while it is true that gamma rays do pierce nearly everything, just because if flies through you doesn't mean that it isn't dangerous. A gamma ray transfers some of it's energy to every particle it touches, and since its wavelength is so small, Every atom in it's path receives some of that energy. The reason it can keep going even after hitting so many atoms is because they have so much energy that losing some of it doesn't matter.
LCM013 (3 years ago)
okay wait this is super old but what would happen if a person ingested something emitting alpha particles  for science, you understand. 
Banderi (2 years ago)
+LCM013 But.. this is all hypothetical, isn't it, Tom? All academic?
LCM013 (3 years ago)
that is ... really good to know, wow, thanks
BenAddict19 (3 years ago)
Millions of cells around your veins/vessels would be killed, and hundreds or thousands of them would become cancerous and kill you within a day or so... And you can find an alpha source in most smoke alarms (it acts like a security trip wire that gets blocked when smoke is in the way)... Please don't take a smoke alarm apart because it would attach to the dust around it and you would breathe it in!
Jozzarozzer (3 years ago)
I think he messed up. Alpha particles are more ionizing than beta particles which are more ionizing than gamma rays, while it goes Gamma > beta > alpha in terms of penetration.
Stephen Saunders (1 month ago)
No he said beta particles are more than alpha but less than gamma listen again my dude
Dave B (4 months ago)
Penetration depth and energy to ionize are not caused by the same thing. Absorption is measured with barnes and A B and G are three very different things. Gamma is EM (photons/waves) while beta and alpha are electrons and helium nuclei respectively. EM will react with electrons through the electromagnetic force and so will beta. Beta will also interact though the weak force. Alpha will interact though the strong force and not EM as the charge of the two protons is masked by the speed at which it travels making it relativistic where the particles mass comes from its speed much more then its mass. Really it's too much to put in a comment let alone an entire video to understand how the forces work and why penetration and ionization are not directly proportional.
Existenceisillusion (11 months ago)
n3tdh I'm guessing you got some training to work with nuclear reactors, but not nuclear engineering or physics. This is an educated guess based on your comments. You learned some intro level stuff, and now you think you know all that there is to know. I'm not saying that the crap you're spouting is entirely wrong, I'm saying it's not entirely right...it's also incomplete.
n3tdh (2 years ago)
+Jozzarozzer i also will submit this X-ray and gamma radiation are best absorbed by atoms with heavy nuclei; the heavier the nucleus, the better the absorption. In some special applications, depleted uranium or thorium[4] are used, but lead is much more common; several centimeters are often required. Barium sulfate is used in some applications too. However, when cost is important, almost any material can be used, but it must be far thicker. Most nuclear reactors use thick concrete shields to create a bioshield with a thin water cooled layer of lead on the inside to protect the porous concrete from the coolant inside. The concrete is also made with heavy aggregates, such as Baryte or MagnaDense (Magnetite), to aid in the shielding properties of the concrete. Gamma rays are better absorbed by materials with high atomic numbers and high density, although neither effect is important compared to the total mass per area in the path of the gamma ray. please answer this 1 question how heavy is the nuclei in paper?
n3tdh (2 years ago)
+Jozzarozzer no i do get that. the question is how much paper would it take? yes it is basic high school science. but its also basic math! how thick would the layers of paper have to be? simply put to have enogh paper to stop gamma radiation the paper would have to be so thick that you would be almost as far away as to out distance the gamma radiation anyway! do the math!
Jack Miller (3 years ago)
Really good video!
Dolores Swann (3 years ago)
Where does the non-ionizing radiation emitted from my CPap machine - fall into on that spectrum you illustrate here?
Banderi (2 years ago)
+Dolores Swann That's just WiFi then. It's between radio and microwave frequencies. And no, they don't do any long-term damage whatsoever.
Dolores Swann (2 years ago)
+Banderi Continuous Positive Airway Pressure.... It's my breathing machine that can be monitored -remotely- due to the WiFi connection...thus = non-ionizing radiation....which I can 'turn off' if I keep it in 'Airplane Mode:. Clear as mud now?? LOL. I just hate the idea if any radiation emitting right next to my bed, by my head. OMG. and I refused to have the new digital meter readers installed on my home for the same reason...... yet here one is ....IN my BEDROOM.
Banderi (2 years ago)
+Dolores Swann ...wifi? Wait, what does "cpap" stand for?
Dolores Swann (2 years ago)
+Banderi - It states so right on the back of the machine. secondary to the WiFi - remote capacity.
Banderi (2 years ago)
+Dolores Swann I don't think cpap machines emit radiations.. other than electromagnetism of course.
Deviliza (3 years ago)
Can you please make a video on how to make X-rays? Love your shows :)
Luc - (3 years ago)
This guy... Always forgetting the first 'it'...
TheSilverSmith (3 years ago)
: ( Awww. I thought he would crack a joke about the hulk. 
Dustin Fry (3 years ago)
Soo am I the only one that is bothered by the fact that the acronym in the video title and what he calls it in the video do not match?
Adam (3 years ago)
VLF is a method of geophysical subsurface detection.
Clinton (3 years ago)
I feel as if he could have explained ionizing radiation better. Beta particles, alpha particles, and gamma rays. All of these can be thought of as both waves and particles. While trace amounts of ionizing radiation come from external sources, the magnetic field of our Earth protects us from much of it. Radioactive elements present the most dangerous threat of ionizing radiation. These elements are unstable and break down over time, releasing ionizing radiation. Alpha particles consist of 2 protons and 2 neutrons(identical to helium nuclei). When an alpha particle is released, the elements atomic number decreases by 2. In this way the element may decay into a different element. The mass of an alpha particle is about 3.7 GeV. They are stopped by a piece of paper or human skin. Beta particles are electrons or positrons(positive charged electron). They may travel outwards at incredible speeds, surpassing 75% the speed of light. The mass of a beta particle is about 0.5 MeV. This makes an alpha particle approximately 7400 times as massive as a beta particle. Gamma rays are just photons with extremely high frequency and energy. They have no mass.
BenAddict19 (3 years ago)
I can't believe how badly they got this wrong, alpha is the most ionizing and gamma is the least, but gamma penetrates much much more than alpha (ie nothing can fully stop gamma and alpha is stopped by air)
IamGrimalkin (3 years ago)
What do you mean very low frequency electromagnetic waves aren't super useful? Mains electricity is a very low frequency electromagnetic wave, and that's doing pretty well in powering my computer. Come to that, I think it might also hurt me too if I'm not careful.
IamGrimalkin (3 years ago)
+That One Communist Yes it does. It's a very low-frequency (50Hz) EM wave across the medium of a copper wire.
draven main btw haHAA (3 years ago)
I can safely inform you that radiation has almost nothing to do with nuclear energy, and bears little of the known danger characteristics. Radioactivity is in fact, the activity of radios, the presence of radio waves in the air. Ripples in the fabric of the universe around you. As you may know, radio waves are considered long wavelengths of light, so long that you cannot see it. This is untrue, and the sight of them are simply blocked by a surgical incision at birth. The effect of these surgeries can be negated however, most effectively with LSD and marijuana, hence the government's reasoning for illegalizing the drug. Green wavelengths are the easiest to see, and this is because it is by far the most dangerous, but also the most effective at controlling an innocent citizen.
the *f r i c k*
Apocalypse337 (3 years ago)
+aNTI jADEN sMITH I get the feeling you might be enjoying LSD, marijuana, and/or numerous other drugs.
Tanishq Desai (3 years ago)
+aNTI jADEN sMITH You indeed are the Anti Jaden Smith.
Wulframm Rolf (3 years ago)
i just love this. thank you so much for posting this. XD
Dale Kallio (3 years ago)
I am Diego Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.
Sara Abbott (3 years ago)
=O Hank Green does educational science videos?? Now I finally have a legitimate reason to introduce my science class to the wonderful world of Hank and John Green. This could get scary.
Ravenlay (3 years ago)
The name of this mini series is IDTIMWYTIM but he always says IDTTMWYTIM......"I don't think it-" contrary to "I don't think that-"?
Dr.Ehrfurchtgebietend (3 years ago)
Do the word "Quantum" for IDTIMWYTIM. As a physicist I would be happy to help. My coworkers even botch it pretty often.
Christopher Albano (3 years ago)
I think you have your ionizing radiations backward. Alpha is the most ionizing (net charge ++), but tends to be easily protected against, beta is significantly less ionizing (net charge -) but requires a little bit more effort to protect against it--you don't want a strong beta source on your skin for very long at all) Gamma rays are ionizing because they occasionally excite electrons to a high enough degree that they will leave orbit around the atom's nucleus (net charge - when it actually happens), The rate this happens at depends on the energy and frequency that the gamma is carrying, as well as the bond-strength of the electron with it's atomic core, but basically for terrestrial sources will always be lower than the rate at which alpha and beta ionize a localized area. There is no effective way of completely protecting against gamma radiation, and that is why it's nasty. Dense substances like lead or gold will absorb a lot of gamma, and it will disburse to lower rates with increased distance from the source, but you will never successfully absorb or avoid all of it. If there is a source of gamma radiation, some level of exposure is inevitable. This level is normally low, and our metabolisms are designed to deal with it's effects. The problem comes when you start to rapidly get a large dose and it overcomes the body's protective mechanisms, or over the course of a lifetime as those mechanisms wear down along with the rest of the body.
bobbycone2 (3 years ago)
Hank! Did you say the title of this show wrong? It's supposed to be IDTIMWYTIM but you read the title as IDTTMWYTIM. Caught a "THAT" where it should have been an "IT". All your shows kick ass so I'll let slide. Haha.
bobbycone2 (3 years ago)
Hank! Did you say the title of this show wrong? It's supposed to be IDTIMWYTIM but you read the title as IDTTMWYTIM. Caught a "THAT" where it should have been an "IT". All your shows kick ass so I'll let slide. Haha.
Nobody Quite (4 years ago)
They haven't said, that studies shown that without natural level of ionising radiation mammals are tend to have a bit more of immune problems and tend to live a bit less.
Neko Usagi (4 years ago)
i think tsa needs to use this as their main into the scanners for people
denise van wijk (4 years ago)
YokedEmu3760 (4 years ago)
I call bullshit gama rays would only cause a really bad sunburn
goose121 (3 years ago)
If there were a reeeeeeally tiny amount, perhaps. Mostly, though, it would do bad stuff. Like knocking the atoms in your DNA out of whack.
Clinton (3 years ago)
It has been theorized that gamma rays given off by a nearby hypernovae could cause mass extinction.
Drawcandy (3 years ago)
Please test that theory and expose yourself to gamma radiation. We'll see what you think of the results when you're in hospital.
Rob Martin (3 years ago)
That was really ignorant.
LlamaLickLollipop (4 years ago)
Got sad when this episode ended. ;( I wanted more!
Shawn Pitman (4 years ago)
Spending a moment on the safety of properly radiated food would've been wise. People will get confused by the statement that you shouldn't eat things that emit alpha particles.
In this video, it was mentioned how beta particles are more ionising than alpha, and beta are also less ionising than gamma. My physics teacher and my text book said otherwise... Not sure which one is accurate. Does anyone know?? Thanks.
Fish Ed (2 years ago)
Yea. What I think he meant was penetrating effect. Your textbooks and teachers are right. From least ionizing to most ionizing: Gamma>Beta>Alpha From least penetrating to most penetrating: Alpha>Beta>Gamma The reason why alpha particle have low penetration is because it easily ionizes and decays before it can even penetrate a paper.
Elena (3 years ago)
Yeah same- this is so contradictory to what I'm learning at school...
CatStration (4 years ago)
I just took a sip of my coffee as he said that, I feel like I just drank possible poison... O_O
BritishTeaLover (4 years ago)
2:24, wait, beta particles are more ionising than Alpha particles, and less than gamma? That's the wrong way round isn't it? That would imply Gamma is the most ionising, and alpha the least? Gamma is the least ionising, then beta, then comes Alpha by a massive amount, since it is way more ionising.  Gamma however is the most penetrating, then beta, then alpha (stopped by a few cm of air, or a bit of plastic/paper).
Cd-iLozytp (9 months ago)
makes sense
IamGrimalkin (3 years ago)
+Will B Yeah,the helium is a bad analogy. There. What I mean is, there's nothing stopping an individual gamma photon being much more high energy and destructive than an individual alpha particle, penetration notwithstanding. All we are talking about is tenancies. Of course, the weighting factors used to make the sievert readings tries to factor that out, although I don't know whether they apply at extreme energies. But under that same weighting, gamma and beta radiation have the same weight.
Will B (3 years ago)
Of course its relative, that's the whole point XD, we are trying to figure out/remember/convince each other under which conditions each is the most lethal and how dangerous they are relative to each other.   Understanding stuff like the following has been the point: A ridiculous amount of alpha radiation can be safely contained in a small jar and safely approached. A smaller amount of gamma-emitters is much more difficult to shield and you generally have to stay farther away to be safe. But if those alpha emmiters get into your body the greater ease of interaction of alpha particles means they are more dangerous than gamma emitters *in that setting*.  Of course, sufficiently small quantities of any type can be safely ignored, and likewise too much of any kind will kill you almost instantly.  Its the relations and subtleties we were interested in. Btw alpha particles are high-speed helium nuclei, not atoms, they are given a different name and treated separately from the gas because they act so differently.  They are moving too quickly to react chemically with anything and are completely electronless, changing their properties drastically.  Its like comparing a bullet in flight with a lead paperweight, though they could be the same size/shape/etc. the actions they perform and the properties you are interested in are completely different. You only start worrying about the it as Helium when it slows down from interacting/colliding with atoms. THEN it may have some weird chemical effects, like yanking electrons off neighboring atoms and and ionizing them. These effects are (I think) mostly ignored when talking about radiation because they are (again, I think) orders of magnitude less damaging than the results of the collisions while the particle is still behaving like an alpha.
IamGrimalkin (3 years ago)
Isn't it all relative anyway? If I was around large amounts of gamma rays almost energetic enough to likely pair produce on the cosmic microwave background, I'd be worried. If I was around some very low energy alpha particles aka helium gas, not so much.
Will B (3 years ago)
+Yamareto  You may not be proficient in anything but you did hit that nail pretty much on the head :P. I already knew about the difference in penetrative power but you summarized the relationship between that and its likelihood to cause trouble quite well.

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