How Much Radiation Is In A Single Banana?

Your bananas are irradiated. Don’t worry; they’re perfectly safe. But the average banana contains at least 0.1 micro sieverts (0.1 μSv) of radiation. Not enough to harm anyone, no, but it’s something. In fact, this is what’s known as the Banana Equivalent Dose, or the amount of radiation exposure you’ll receive from eating that singular …

A Gamma Ray Burst In The 8th Century?

Did A Gamma-Ray Burst Hit Earth During The Middle Ages?

In Ends of the World: Gamma-Ray Bursts, I raised the possibility that millions of years ago, Earth may have experienced a catastrophic gamma-ray burst, an immense beam of energy that forms when high-mass stars collapse, or after a collision between binary neutron stars. Well, a new study claims that it actually may have happened, but …

Ends Of The World: Gamma-Ray Bursts

There’s something out there. Something that happens every day. If it were to happen at the right distance, and point in just the right direction, it would obliterate everything on Earth’s surface. We wouldn’t have much warning, and any preparation would be meaningless. There would be nothing we could do to stop our impending annihilation. …

Trinity

The Demon Core

A plutonium core is, simply put, the heart of an atomic bomb. During the development of the first atomic bombs at Los Alamos, Nevada in the 1940s, scientists performed experiments on these cores to assess their critical mass, or the point at which they would “go critical” and experience a nuclear chain reaction. This was …

Japan Is (Was) Sinking! Right?

On Friday, March 11, 2011, an “undersea megathrust earthquake,” one of the most powerful earthquakes ever recorded, hit off the coast of Japan. The earthquake and tsunami that followed caused unimaginable damage, not the least of which being several nuclear accidents, including the Fukushima Daiichi plant meltdown, the effects of which are still being felt today. …