B Radiation shielding and redirecting

  • Thread starter sillls
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Summary
To redirect or shield against radiation.
Hi, I am looking for the best way to either shield or redirect radiation, particularly Gamma radiation away from vehicles in space with the minimal amount mass. The last thing we need is a few feet of lead. I am hoping to find other options.

I would love to redirect radiation away from a spacecraft. Maybe with a static shield?
Maybe find an atomic structure that could bend radiation around objects the way people found to move light waves around. https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=suits+that+can+make+you+insiible&view=detail&mid=213D5D2EB5D942E9E783213D5D2EB5D942E9E783&FORM=VIRE


https://www.physicsforums.com/threads/reaching-for-the-stars.976542/
As I understand it, light is a wavelength that can be bent around objects, rendering them invisible.
If we can do that with light then why not Gamma radiation?

Any ideas?
 
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anorlunda

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Are you writing a SciFi story?
 

phinds

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There must be away to redirect radiation away from a spacecraft.
Whether there is or not, what evidence do you have that there MUST be ? Just because you want something to be so does not make it so.
 
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Whether there is or not, what evidence do you have that there MUST be ? Just because you want something to be so does not make it so.
I understand what your trying to say but I am not going to settle for that.

As for evidence. I did post a link about light bending in my post. If we can bend light waves around objects then we should be able to bend other wave lengths of energy. Also this:
I am new to this forums, thank God there is a web site devoted to things like this. About me: I am a guy living in VA who is very interested in working on projects that will take me into space. I am hoping to join SpaceX or another company like it and work in space. I have been interested in this ever since I can remember. I went to collage but got out to be apart of the Air National Guard but had to leave. Now I am trying to go back into avionics in the hopes that this will help me get to were I want to go. If you have any suggestions or any job opportunity's that could help me reach my goal, please let me know. Thanks. Sillls

Source:
https://www.physicsforums.com/threads/reaching-for-the-stars.976542/

There must be a way that we can protect people from radiation.
 
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phinds

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I understand what your trying to say but I am not going to settle for that.

As for evidence. I did post a link about light bending in my post. If we can bend light waves around objects then we should be able to bend other wave lengths of energy.

There must be a way that we can protect people from radiation.
"Bending light" to ANY significant degree require the mass of something with the mass of a planet (a star would be more likely), so I think you are using a useless analogy in your reasoning.
 
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Then check out these two links from Duke University.

I also edited my first post to have all three links there.

 

phinds

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Then check out these two links from Duke University.
Sure, you can make these special materials that reshape the microwaves by changing the refractive index of the material in interesting ways, but that does NOT mean that the waves are going around the object, they are still going through it. You keep bringing up straw-man examples that do not answer my question.

@sillls I am not trying to give you a hard time on this but what you are looking for has never been done on the scale you are talking about and I'm doubtful that it can be done (but certainly could be wrong about that) and I am simply wondering why you think there HAS to be a way to do it. I still think it's just wishful thinking on your part and am wondering if you can point to any accepted theory that would support your belief that it can be done on the scale you envision (protecting a spacecraft with some kind of "field" rather than water or lead shielding.)
 
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Sure, you can make these special materials that reshape the microwaves by changing the refractive index of the material in interesting ways, but that does NOT mean that the waves are going around the object, they are still going through it. You keep bringing up straw-man examples that do not answer my question.
I just showed you a video of microwaves moving around an object.
Perhaps it's because it was shown in a two dimensional view. The microwaves are moving around (including above it). But because it's shown in a two dimensional view it appears that the microwaves are still moving through it.
It's like holding water going around a marble.
 

phinds

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I just showed you a video of microwaves moving around an object.
Perhaps it's because it was shown in a two dimensional view. The microwaves are moving around (including above it). But because it's shown in a two dimensional view it appears that the microwaves are still moving through it.
It's like holding water going around a marble.
Hm ... perhaps I misinterpreted the video but he specifically talks about the refractive index which would be completely irrelevant if things were going around instead of through.
 
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Sure, you can make these special materials that reshape the microwaves by changing the refractive index of the material in interesting ways, but that does NOT mean that the waves are going around the object, they are still going through it. You keep bringing up straw-man examples that do not answer my question.

@sillls I am not trying to give you a hard time on this but what you are looking for has never been done on the scale you are talking about and I'm doubtful that it can be done (but certainly could be wrong about that) and I am simply wondering why you think there HAS to be a way to do it. I still think it's just wishful thinking on your part and am wondering if you can point to any accepted theory that would support your belief that it can be done on the scale you envision (protecting a spacecraft with some kind of "field" rather than water or lead shielding.)
Thanks.
Well I could be wrong. When I say has what I am trying to say is I would really like to find a way to make that happen. I will go ahead and edit my original post.

When I saw the videos, I thought that there might be a way to bend Gamma rays around an object. But again, I could be wrong. I was trying to see if it was possible and if this was being tested.
 

phinds

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... what I am trying to say is I would really like to find a way to make that happen.
Well,good. That makes sense and it would be a great boon to mankind of you (or anyone) could find a way to do it since it is a significant impediment to long-term space travel, and colonization of, say Mars, as well.
 

marcusl

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The “cloaking device” works by tailoring artificial dielectrics to produce a carefully controlled negative refractive index material. It generated huge excitement a decade ago or so until it was realized that it works only at a single frequency—its bandwidth is so narrow as to be useless.

You can’t engineer these materials for particles, xrays or gamma rays, however, so the idea is doubly DOA. Look somewhere else for a solution.

Also I advise you to research and understand what you are reading before making off-base claims and then arguing with the learned folk here.
 

sophiecentaur

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The “cloaking device” works by tailoring artificial dielectrics to produce a carefully controlled negative refractive index material. It generated huge excitement a decade ago or so until it was realized that it works only at a single frequency—its bandwidth is so narrow as to be useless.
There will be limits to maximum frequency of operation but it is quite possible to reflect (deflect) X rays using very oblique incidence on a metal surface (they will be absorbed or pass through at steep incidence. This is the principle behind Xray telescopes. It may be worth a search on these telescopes. The advantage would be low mass (compared with lead) but the range of angles could be small.
 
I am not sure if this is what you are looking for. There is a type of battery that has been in development for a long time that uses radiation to generate electricity. (like a rolled up solar panel with semi permanent light between the layers...) they have been trying to find a use for radioactive waste and if they can figure out a way to make a surface that absorbs radiation and turns it into power, then i wonder if the same general idea could not be applied to the surface or under surface of a space ship to generate power instead or shielding against it. the tech is called "betavoltaics" or at least that is a place to start.

quote from my room mate... "we be space pirates. if the universe gives us radiation and debris, we are surely not going to be giving it back" take any resource you can out there.
 
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davenn

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There is a type of battery that has been in development for a long time that uses radiation to generate electricity. (like a rolled up solar panel with semi permanent light between the layers...)

have you got some links for that please ?
never heard of it
 
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I am not sure if this is what you are looking for. There is a type of battery that has been in development for a long time that uses radiation to generate electricity. (like a rolled up solar panel with semi permanent light between the layers...) they have been trying to find a use for radioactive waste and if they can figure out a way to make a surface that absorbs radiation and turns it into power, then i wonder if the same general idea could not be applied to the surface or under surface of a space ship to generate power instead or shielding against it. the tech is called "betavoltaics" or at least that is a place to start.
That doesn't help you with shielding, and the power you would get from ionizing radiation in space is completely negligible.
Absorbing ~1 J/kg of ionizing radiation is likely to kill you if some of it is from atomic nuclei. That's the energy density your body uses every second just for staying alive.
 

sophiecentaur

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if the same general idea could not be applied to the surface or under surface of a space ship to generate power instead or shielding against it. the tech is called "betavoltaics" or at least that is a place to start.
There are two entirely different issues here. There is the need for protection and there is a requirement for power. Unfortunately the large amount of Power needed for the craft would imply a density of radiation that would be worse than a little bit lethal. You will notice that the tech is called Betavoltaics. The Beta Particles (fast electrons) that are used are essentially local products from radioactive substances which can be used relatively safely inside a container.
 
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gleem

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The only way to protect astronauts is to assure that gamma radiation dissipates all its energy in something before it reaches the crew. Lots of stuff preferably high Z. As far as charged particles are concerned they can theoretically be deflected by a large electric field but this is not practical because the energies of these particles are typically too high to be affected much by the field one could typically generate and deploy.
 

sophiecentaur

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Still no views about the glancing reflection idea? It is known technology at modest energies.
 

marcusl

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How does one protect a ship from gamma rays incident over 4*pi steradians?
 

sophiecentaur

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How does one protect a ship from gamma rays incident over 4*pi steradians?
That is a fair question but some directions (eg galactic plane) are worse than others.
In any case, the ‘optics’ of this are non standard. You can have layers which will not affect each other. The structure would need to be big, of course because you can only achieve small deflection angles. Also, you’d not be able to see out in many directions but the screens could be mobile. It would be more like a long period in a submarine than a picturesque ride in the ISS.
 
"That doesn't help you with shielding"

Am i missing something? absorbing energy means it is not there to continue into the ship. thus absorbing the radiation as energy would effectively "redirect" it. conservation of energy and all... maybe the concept is not a solution in itself but it might lessen what shielding is needed.

"power you would get from ionizing radiation in space is completely negligible"

the power we got from solar panels was negligible at first too. advancements in tech are not only continual but often produce results we were not expecting. i think that this concept is worth further study and experimentation.
 

sophiecentaur

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Am i missing something?
Yes. You are missing the numbers and some basics of high energy Physics'
Firstly, there is just not enough Energy available (even with 100% conversion efficiency) to make it worth while. Wiki suggests "upper limits as low as 3.4 × 10−6 erg·cm−2 on the flux of 1 GeV – 1 TeVcosmic rays from gamma-ray bursts" and there are 107ergs per Joule, iirc ( they are tiny).

Secondly, these little devils will damage us in very small quantities. There is no material that is low enough density to clad a ship with, that will absorb enough of the radiation to achieve safe levels.
The only solution would have to be to deflect the radiation or find a way to put up with it. Cockroaches and a few others seem to manage it but I cannot see humans doing it.

Cosmic rays consisting of high energy charged particles are dealt with by the Earth's magnetic field but doing the same thing for a spaceship would consume a lot of power.
 

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