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Electromagnetizm -> Radon ionization -> Temperature increase?

  1. Dec 16, 2012 #1
    I have read somewhere that electromagnetic waves would ionize radon and that would lead to air temperature increase as air contains radon particles. Do you think this is true?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 16, 2012 #2

    Borek

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    Electromagnetic waves can ionize and/or heat up any gas, including radon. So there is a grain of truth in that statement, but it is not correct in general, as radon presence is not necessary for heating air with the electromagnetic waves.
     
  4. Dec 16, 2012 #3

    mfb

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    Electromagnetic waves can be absorbed in material, this increases the temperature of the absorbing material and its environment. Radon is not special here.
    Do you have some specific setup in mind?

    Edit: Same minute :(
     
  5. Dec 16, 2012 #4
    Radon seems to be influenced by preceding earthquakes, apparently due to electromagnetic waves emmitted before earthquakes. But now I just read that we are talking about radon contained in ground waters rather than in air http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radon
    So, why only radon and not other elements/gases?
     
  6. Dec 16, 2012 #5

    Borek

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    ]

    Any source for that? Even the wiki article that you linked to contradicts what you just wrote. Even if there are radon emissions they are not well correlated to the earthquakes and the emission is considered to be strictly mechanical (cracks). No "electromagnetic waves" involved.
     
  7. Dec 16, 2012 #6
  8. Dec 16, 2012 #7

    Borek

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    Radon emanations are strictly mechanical (it is freed by the appearance of the cracks) and it is the radioactive radon that is the source of the air ionization.
     
  9. Dec 16, 2012 #8
    So, are you saying that radon gas escapes from the earthquake epicenter and travels up through earth microcracks and releases to the air? Earthquake epicenter depth are in the range of kilometers. Or is it just radon from near surface?
     
  10. Dec 16, 2012 #9

    Borek

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    To be honest I have no idea. It is matter of time scale. I doubt released gas would be able to travel real far fast enough, but if it is released much earlier, it can be observed even if its source is really deep. But I am just hand waving.
     
  11. Dec 16, 2012 #10
    The release at the very moment of the earthquake would make sense, but I don't understand its release before the earthquake. What triggers it? The pressure built process?
    And I see it difficult for the gas to travel through earth microcraks. Earth layers are dense.
     
  12. Dec 16, 2012 #11

    Borek

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    Don't ask me, you started the discussion. I just told you where you were wrong.
     
  13. Dec 16, 2012 #12
    Thank you for your participation anyway. The last paragraph of this article holds a good explanation of what we were discussing: http://www.wjla.com/blogs/weather/2011/05/the-air-over-japan-heated-up-before-the-9-0-earthquake-study-11030.html [Broken]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
  14. Dec 16, 2012 #13

    mfb

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    Earthquakes can have smaller mechanical changes before. Those could release radon.

    As far as I can see, the article suggest the existence of some mechanism how ionizing radiation (from radon) can lead to an increased temperature, but I don't see how.

    I can see one significance level given in the paper, and that is ">2 sigma". Without a good reason why this would be expected, ">2 sigma" says nothing. If you have 20 different parameters to observe, you expect that one deviates by more than 2 standard deviations.
     
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