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Author Topic: What physical effects can a neutrino beam have on a human?  (Read 3694 times)

Offline mriver8

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If used as a lethal or non lethal weapon?
« Last Edit: 18/10/2014 17:59:21 by mriver8 »


 

Offline alancalverd

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Practically all neutrinos pass through the body without interacting at all, so the weapon would be profoundly psychologically disturbing: as far as the weapon is concerned, you might as well not exist.
 

Offline chiralSPO

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There is an excellent discussion (monolog actually, but you get the point) of this here: http://what-if.xkcd.com/73/
 

Offline Bored chemist

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Practically all neutrinos pass through the body without interacting at all, so the weapon would be profoundly psychologically disturbing: as far as the weapon is concerned, you might as well not exist.
Equally, as far as you are concerned, the "weapon" might as well not exist.
 

Online evan_au

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In the LHC, they manufacture beams of neutrinos by firing a proton beam at a graphite target.

The proton beam would be more dangerous than the neutrino beam - as would the gamma rays and X-Rays coming out of the target.

But with a diameter of over 2km, the proton synchrotron is not a very portable weapon (or easily aimed...).
 

Offline alancalverd

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Equally, as far as you are concerned, the "weapon" might as well not exist.

Sounds like the last word in terrorism - getting someone worked up about a weapon that doesn't exist and would be harmless if it did.
 

Offline Ethos_

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As we speak, trillions of neutrinos are passing thru everyone of us every second of every day. Not to worry, nor should we be concerned about a proposed weapon using neutrinos either!
 

Offline PmbPhy

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Quote from: mriver8
If used as a lethal or non lethal weapon?
Absolutely not. You get more destructive effects from the radiation from your own body than from neutrinos.
 

Online evan_au

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I saw a calculation once that if there was a "close" supernova (say, 10 light-years away), there would be enough neutrinos captured by your body to cause DNA mutations which would (eventually) kill you with cancer.

Because the absorbed dose is proportional to body mass, larger creatures would be more likely to succumb to cancer than smaller creatures; and smaller creatures have a more rapid life cycle, so they are more likely to survive such an event than larger creatures.

To give an idea of the intensity, supernova 1987a, in a nearby galaxy deposited about 6 neutrinos in several thousand tons of water.

Apply the inverse square law, and a supernova 10 light years away could do a lot of damage via neutrinos. (The light from such a supernova would also do a lot of damage.)
 

Offline mriver8

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I thought I read something that said they were testing them to stop nuclear weapons.
 

Offline alancalverd

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Re: What physical effects can a neutrino beam have on a human?
« Reply #10 on: 20/10/2014 19:13:36 »
I saw a calculation once that if there was a "close" supernova (say, 10 light-years away), there would be enough neutrinos captured by your body to cause DNA mutations which would (eventually) kill you with cancer.

One would be enough, if it actually interacted with anything. There is no threshold for radiogenic cancer induction. But given the zillions of spontaneous mutations going on in your body anyway, it would be very difficult to blame a neutrino beam of any intensity for your demise. The other stuff emanating from your close supernova will fry you to a crisp well before the cancer has any clinical effect.   
 

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Re: What physical effects can a neutrino beam have on a human?
« Reply #10 on: 20/10/2014 19:13:36 »

 

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