I saw a talk on one of these experiments while I was a grad student. Apparently their lead source had "historical significance" according to the government of France, and getting it out of the country required beurocratic maneuvers of questionanable legality.
But what compound? PbH4 isn't stable. PbF4 is barely stable. Maybe Pb(CH4)4 ??? Naively, I guess that you'd get even better mass resolution. Molectual mass of UF6 being ~352, vs ~267 for Pb(CH4)4. Good use for all those leftover centrifuges ;)
Well, it would be infinite until you run out.
Edit: it appears that someone disagrees with me. No worries, healthy disagreement is a good thing.
But I'm curious: how would you produce an infinite amount of product?
I won't worry about it further, time to go enjoy my unlimited internet.
Similar to carbon-14 dating - the isotopic ratio of carbon in the atmosphere is maintained by cosmic radiation hitting the carbon-12 and carbon-13 atoms, but as soon as the carbon is incorporated into solid matter it ceases to be part of the process that renews the carbon-14 levels.
In Britain's defence, the Germans did later try to capture the remnants of the French fleet, and the French scuttled their fleet to avoid capture: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scuttling_of_the_French_fleet_...
Another interesting story involving the scuttling of a ship is the Battle of the River Plate (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_the_River_Plate). The German ship, the Admiral Graf Spee, was forced into a neutral port due to damage. Rather than be forced out to face an overwhelming force they were certain to lose against, Captain Langsdorff instead scuttled the ship and committed suicide.
We could mine ore that hasn't been exposed to the atmosphere since then, and use air (either purified or found in some air pockets underground) for the furnace behind an airlock.
This would be much more expensive than just finding some pre-WWII steel, there's a lot of that around, but I don't think it's the case that if we somehow didn't have it we'd be screwed.
Am I wrong?
From article "Breathing Everyone's Air" - scroll down to that heading in http://www.scifun.ed.ac.uk/card/facts.html
This one only exaggerates things by a factor of 2, at least.
If some sort of catastrophe befalls our current civilization and future archaeologists attempt to C14 date our fossils and artifacts derived from carbon sequestered during this era, their results will be wildly unreliable.
If you plot human body temperature in Kelvins, the difference between someone with hypothermia and someone with a raging fever are relatively slight (under 2%).
Zero can be just as arbitrary a starting point as non-zero.
(My point is that temperature is probably an odd man out in graph terms, our usual reference points are not actually at zero.)
Far less interesting a read, an article about how many molecules of Beyonce's breath you inhale with each breath. https://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/12/12/beyonce-breath_n_6...
Granted, paleontology looks back in the span of millions to billions of years, so those ancient fossils are ok, but I imagine future scientists will grind their teeth an awful lot when trying to make scientific sense of our present day.
Chernobyl is just a tiny blip.
Before the industrial revolution, silver did not tarnish. Burning coal introduced enough sulfur in the air that silver started tarnishing.
> While coal-burning power plants are responsible for producing most of the sulfur dioxide out there (and thus acid rain), they don’t contribute that much of the compounds that actually cause silver to tarnish, namely hydrogen sulfide—best known as a key player in the smell of rotten eggs and flatulence—and the similarly pungent carbonyl sulfide. About 90 percent of the hydrogen sulfide and more than two-thirds of the carbonyl sulfide in our atmosphere come from (you guessed it) volcanoes, salt marshland, undersea vents, and other natural sources.
And here I thought they were going to say rotten eggs and flatulence...
There are vacuum furnaces that lack this atmospheric air, but their process is much more expensive.
"Bathed in a radioactive cloud" actually holds more for Chinese coal pollution than anything from a nuclear plant with the possible exception of Chernobyl.
> ...the levels of cesium-137 are barely detectable...
You'll get a lot more exposure from a single plane flight!
Low level radiation probably acts as a beneficial stressor, like exercise or fasting . Although this level is so low it probably does nothing at all.
You also probably don't have to worry about the radiation you get from bananas or plane flights. And it's possible those dumb sounding radioactive water spas might have actually been helpful.
Fukushima is aweful for the nearby region and still a cautionary tale. But it didn't poison the whole world.
Two studies on beagles:
"One exposed the dogs to whole-body cobalt-60 γ-radiation."
"The other evaluated dogs whose lungs were exposed to α-particle radiation from plutonium."
For both studies, excess radiation improved their lifespans by 20-50 percent. It is a substantial beneficial effect. Above a beneficial level of radiation their lifespans shortened to the level of dogs who were not exposed at all and then to substantial reductions in lifespans.
This graph illustrates it best:
We don't know why low radiation exposure is good, but it does seem to be.
They like people.
My, how times have changed.
colour me unconvinced.
sure, hormesis is a theory worth considering, but so is Petkau. There are good reasons that international standards retain LNT on review.
Remember that one time where the that massage felt like being kicked by a boxer in the back? The assumption for low-radiation beeing healthy goes like this:
We are creatures of a naturally radioactive environment. Actually the environment was much more radioactive in the ancient past - which is why we search living and deceased fossils for DNA-Repair mechanisms, as these creatures would have to be much more cancer resistant back then. But i digress...
DNA-Digression, that is what radiation inflicts - also known as damage. Now this is super obvious damage kicking alive the repair mechanism, which also fixes alot of other - not so obvious damages or kills the cell.
I would be careful with that last statement because seafood from Japan is global.
Only time will tell the true impact of Fukushima's radioactive water.
"More than 1 million tons of radiation-laced water is already being kept on-site in an ever-expanding forest of hundreds of hulking steel tanks—and so far, there’s no plan to deal with them."
12 US gallons = 100 lbs and 1 million tons is equal to 2.4 million gallons
So 10^6 tons of water corresponds to 400 olympic swimming pools. That's quite a lot of water (still not much compared to the volume of the oceans, of course).
What exactly is the problem that it is causing?
The half-life as I understand it is relatively short for the especially harmful stuff, but that's not so helpful if leaks are ongoing.
How is it contaminated? What's the distribution of contaminants? Do they actually have a significant effect?
In plainer, much less careful English: even with that exposure, they live longer than average.
TLDR: It's overenthusiastic to think the literature has concluded that low-level radiation is probably good for you, but good experiments are hard.
Dose examples: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sievert#Dose_examples
I have proposed that the common flu that we all get every 12-18 months serves the same purpose and that attempts to avoid this (via the influenza vaccine) could have unintended consequences for the long term health of our immune system ... but I have never been met with anything but incredulity ...
If you have kids in school, you're going to get the flu every year or two.
I'm not quite so extreme, but I do avoid flu shots about one out of every three years for the same reason. In any case, I don't get the flu very often.
Unless you mean that the upper respiratory tract inflammation itself is what would cause the beneficial effect?
But from then on, while you certainly maintain information from the vaccine in your immune system, you aren't ramping up the actual mechanisms of your immune system like you do when you actually experience influenza.
Think of the temperature raise, the white blood cell production, possible gastro-intestinal reactions - these are all bodily systems being ramped up to a level of performance they don't typically see.
My thought is that if I "successfully" avoid the flu for, say, the next 40 years, those bodily systems will not be as robust - even if I maintain the informational content of the vaccine itself.
Please, please, do not confuse this or lump this in with kooky anti-science, vaccine opponents. I'm just thinking out loud about how stressors on body systems work - which is what my parent was discussing.
If it weren't for vaccinations, and the associated herd immunity, many more people would be dying to it.
Though 137-Cs has a half-life of ~30yrs it has a biological half-life of ~70 days. (30 if you are treated with Prussian Blue). It fairly uniformly distributes through the body, though it has higher concentrations in soft tissues, which does pose greater damage (see Sievert).
That being said, these are such low quantities you'd die of alcohol many times over before increasing your chance of cancer by 1% over the course of your lifetime.
From Wiki they gave some dogs a dose of 140 MBq/kg and they all died in 33 days. When they gave some other dogs half (70MBq/kg) dosage all the dogs survived.
This one discusses limiting procedures per year. Apparently in one example a surgeon could do 4000+ safely with a lead apron and only 300 without one.
There appears to be plenty more material out there relating to this.
Ul Haque M, Shufflebarger HL, O'Brien M, Macagno A. Radiation exposure during pedicle screw placement in adolescent idiopathic scoliosis: is fluoroscopy safe?. Spine 2006;1;31(21):2516-20.
I know about it from here:
I'd delete this comment if it were possible.
People are misunderstanding this. The point here isn't to point out a specific toxin in wine, it was to point out the pervasive reach of this isotope and its utility as a dating mechanism for long-stored agricultural products like wine.
Just kidding. A regular banana is probably an order of manitude more radioactive than these wines.
“The average concentration of radon in the atmosphere is about 6×10−18 molar percent, or about 150 atoms in each ml of air.”
I recommend revisiting high school chemistry, especially the topic of molar mass. (Hint: Plutonium is about 250 g/mol. One mol is 6x10^23 particles.)
And yet I bet wine snobs are gonna pretend their palates are so refined they can taste it now.
Variation in radiation levels of the magnitude you are showing can be caused by many different sources, most of which are natural. Sun spots, changes in the upper atmosphere, cat sleeping on the detector, etc...
EditNote: We definitely could still detect the consequences of Chernobyl and atmospheric weapons testing. Fukushima didn't come close to touching the contamination from THAT
How could you properly date a bottle if it was in Fukushima during the event, vs a 1960's bottle during the Cuban Missile Crisis?
> the levels of cesium-137 are barely detectable, and even then, only if the wine is destroyed.
So nothing to see here, move along.
And rightly so, by far the most toxic thing in these bottles is alcohol, not vanishingly small traces of cesium.
The unit of measure in this are mBq/l; millibecquerel per liter. The paper reports 14 mBq/l in CA wine immediately after Fukushima. So the common 750ml bottle of 2011 CA wine will average one cesium-137 decay event every 53.5 seconds.