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Residual Radiation

  1. Mar 22, 2006 #1
    If we blew up an atomic bomb on a spot could a physicists thousands of years in the future picup the radiation and know we did it?
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 23, 2006 #2

    Claude Bile

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    Not the initial blast radiation I don't think, but certainly they could detect radiation from the various radioactive isotopes that are produced by the fission of the Uranium (or Plutonium). One big danger of atomic weapons is the fact that they produce many long-lived, highly radioactive particles that can contaminate regions for thousands of years.

  4. Mar 23, 2006 #3


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    The question cannot be answered without providing additional information.

    There are parts of the Earth's crust which are constantly being eroded away, parts that are undergoing subduction, and so on. Water, wind, flora and fauna can all affect how quickly the radioisotopes are spread from the site.

    The size and type of bomb must also be known. Different kinds of bombs produce different radioactive products.

    Also, "thousands of years" is not a very precise way to express time.

    All in all, I'd say that, in some cases, the evidence would remain detectable for thousands of years, but in other cases, it wouldn't.

    - Warren
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