Search This Blog

Friday, March 18, 2011

Nuclear Cookies: a winner!

Reader Tennessee was the first to post the correct answer to yesterday's Nuclear Cookie puzzle. Here it is, in Tennessee's words:

Eat the Gamma cookie (least radiation exposure and it will penetrate everything anyway)

Hold the Alpha cookie (cannot penetrate dead skin layer)

Pocket the Beta cookie (won't penetrate cloth)

Throw the Neutron cookie away (worst exposure impact and distance is a must because it will penetrate clothes/skin)


One more point I'd add to Tennessee's answer is that while skin is enough to block an Alpha particle, if an Alpha particle is inhaled, ingested or otherwise penetrates the skin barrier it is very, very dangerous.

I found that this puzzle really helped raise my own understanding of the different types of ionizing radiation, many years ago. Hopefully others will find it useful in sorting out the news reports of the current mess in Japan.

Thanks again to Space Cowgirl for the suggestion!

No comments:

Post a Comment