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What would happen if an electron hit you?

  1. Jan 19, 2012 #1
    If an electron travelling faster than the speed of light through water (Cherenkov's Radiation) hit you, what would happen?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 19, 2012 #2
    Nothing noticeable really. High speed particles (including electrons) are hitting you all the time; and there wouldn't be anything special about an electron traveling at that particular range of speeds.

    When the electron hit an atom in your body it would most likely knock out an electron, or possibly many. Changes to a single atom/electron are completely negligible even on a cellular level.

    Continued exposure to such electrons ('beta radiation') can lead to DNA damage (enough electrons are knocked off that chemical changes can occur); or from extremely strong sources of beta radiation (i.e. a huge number of electrons), your body could be effectively burned ('radiation burns').
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