Radioactivity

Radioactivity Reading Guide


Log in to the PHY 192 class on LON-CAPA. In the "Readings" folder you will find three items:
The solo lab is scheduled for April 22nd, Wednesday: a two hour long online LON-CAPA assignment between 5:00 and 10:00 PM eastern time.
Click here to watch Kraftwerk's Radioactivity videoclip from 1975. I hope you heard the line: "Radioactivity, discovered by Madame Curie". Kraftwerk invented electronic music. Jean Michelle Jarre, Mike Oldfield and Vangelis came later. The song was re-mixed in 1991. Click here to hear the remix version. The video part is not very exciting. I think the original version of the song was smoother and more melodic. At around 2003 Kraftwerk came out with a modern stage setup. The modern version of the song is here. Crank up the volume. This song will test the quality of your sound system at both the low and at the high frequency ends. The Fukushima accident happened in 2011. Only a year later Kraftwerk already performed in Japan. They made a Japanese version of the song. They replaced Hiroshima with Fukushima and the crowd went wild. Click here to watch the Japanese version of Radioactivity.
Click here to watch one of Derek Muller's Veritasium videos about the most radioactive places on Earth. He visits Hirosima; the Trinity test site in Alamogordo, New Mexico; Marie Curie's office at the Radium Institute in Paris; the first Uranium mine in Jachymov, Czechia i.e. Czech Republic, which supplied pitchblende for the Curies for their research; the Chernobyl reactor; the Fukushima exclusion zone; and finally the Pripyat hospital. Derek comes up with a unit: the banana. Eating one or two bananas in an hour is roughly equivalent to the average background radiation you receive on the surface of the Earth in one hour. But that means you have to eat 24-48 bananas a day. I would worry more about the weight gain than the radiation.
There are two other Veritasium videos about Chernobyl. Click here to watch the first, where Derek visits abandoned buildings inside the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone. Click here to watch the other video, where he asks some very deep questions he came up with after his Chernobyl visit: the Life, the Universe and Everything.
Watch the Chernobyl trailer here. It is a five part TV show made by HBO, released in May 2019. Don't watch all five episodes in one sitting. You will get a major headache. Just pace them out. You will learn a lot about nuclear physics, radioactivity and reactor design. You will also learn a lot about history, politics, cold war and people like Vasily and Lyudmila Ignatenko, Mikhail Gorbachev, Boris Shcherbina, Valery Legasov, Anatoly Dyatlov, Nikolai Tarakanov and General Vladimir Pikalov. (Favorite comment from YouTube: Everybody is a gangsta, until the loudspeaker says Vnimaniye, Vnimaniye.)