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Can gamma rays be deflected or shielded against with an electromagnetic field?

  1. Jul 15, 2012 #1
    I know we can contain the energy/plasma from a fussion reaction with an electromagnetic field, but would an EMF protect from gamma rays? Would it be possible to deflect a nuclear blast with a powerful enough EMF?
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  3. Jul 15, 2012 #2


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    No. While theory predicts some interaction, this is extremely small. You won't change gamma rays in any significant way with electromagnetic fields.
  4. Jul 15, 2012 #3
    Gamma radiation is from neutrons - they have no charge so the electromotive forces of the EMF have no effect on the gamma rays. The gamma waves could impart an electrical or magnetic effect on the EMF but it would be more like the inductance of an aluminum wire passing through a magnetic field but less intense.
  5. Jul 15, 2012 #4
    Thanks! It was in respect to nuclear pulse propulsion and shielding from the blast/radiation effects.
  6. Jul 16, 2012 #5
    How about a "plasma"? Contain the plasma in a megnetic field but how the density of the plasma or its charge can shield against Gamma ray's.
  7. Jul 16, 2012 #6


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    One source of Gamma rays is from the NUCLEUS during radioactive decay. But it is by no means the only source of Gamma radiation.
    Dont forget Gamma rays are just extremely high energy photons

  8. Jul 16, 2012 #7


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    Gamma rays are high energy photon keV and above from nuclear or subatomic processes, e.g., anihilation (e+e- → γγ) or decay (e.g., πo → γγ).

    Photons interact with charged particles, e.g., electrons, positrons, protons, and nuclei.

    Gamma rays will not be detered by electric or magnetic fields, but they will interact with charged particles within those fields.

    In radiation shielding, particular for shielding against gamma rays, one would use high Z materials because high-Z means high electron density. Electrons interact with photons via the photoelectric effect or Compton scattering. In the case of nuclei, gamma rays of energy greater than 1.022 MeV initiate pair production, and at higher energies, photoneutron emission, photodissociation (d+γ → p + n) or photofission/spallation.
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