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Bending Radiation Around Future Starships And Space Colonies?

15 May 2012, 02:38 UTC
Bending Radiation Around Future Starships And Space Colonies?
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

As many of you already know space radiation is a huge problem. Aside from the fact that it can melt your brains faster than a mini-series upon Hulu, space radiation (whether from stars, black holes or planets) can limit the number of terrestrial worlds we can settle within our solar system.
While artificial magnetic shields could enable humanity to set foot upon the spheres that orbit Sol Star, it might be wiser to bend radiation around our future homes and ships instead.
Theory says that gamma rays, being even more energetic than x-rays, ought to bypass orbiting electrons altogether; materials should not bend them at all and the refractive index for gamma rays should be almost equal to one. Yet this is not what a team of physicists led by Dietrich Habs at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich in Germany and Michael Jentschel at the Institut Laue-Langevin (ILL) in Grenoble, France, has discovered.

ILL is a research reactor that produces intense beams of neutrons. Habs, Jentschel, and colleagues used one of its beams to bombard samples of radioactive chlorine and gadolinium to produce gamma rays. They directed these down a 20-meter-long tube to a device known as ...

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