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Thread: GLP nutter: Passing through Van Allen Belts generates X-rays

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    GLP nutter: Passing through Van Allen Belts generates X-rays

    Ongoing discussion here on Godlike. The latest claim is that since X-ray machines generate X-rays by sending electrons into metal, sending the Apollo spacecraft through the Van Allen Belts would have the same effect. If anyone more knowledgeable than me wants to address this, please do so.
    Everything I need to know I learned through Googling.

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    Re: GLP nutter: Passing through Van Allen Belts generates X-

    Quote Originally Posted by ToSeek
    Ongoing discussion here on Godlike. The latest claim is that since X-ray machines generate X-rays by sending electrons into metal, sending the Apollo spacecraft through the Van Allen Belts would have the same effect. If anyone more knowledgeable than me wants to address this, please do so.
    Oh gee, Saxon's still at it. I wasn't aware the theory had expanded to X-rays, I was still stuck on his completely unsubstantiated position that the Van Allen belts don't trap charged particles (and therefore have higher rad. levels than the space on either side), but rather simply repel the the ocean of radiation from the earth. Oh, and CME's are instantly lethal. (About how much radiation does it take to instantly kill the average human?)

    Of course, now that he located some "actual" numbers to latch onto as his "smoking gun" proof (which, despite this all-encompassing conspiracy to withhold the "real" numbers, somehow managed to get printed in the Washington Post), it's rather unlikely that any explanation of the real nature of radiation is going to make any difference. (We're all paid Gub'bmint disinformation operatives, don'chaknow.) He's also hung up on deriving a definite amount of radiation within a short period of time as a proportion from a longer period (i.e., x rad per year = x/365 rad per day, accurate to 4-5 decimal places, of course :roll: ), a practice which Jay just shot to pieces a few days ago via the "total rainfall" analogy.

    As to those more knowledgable, Duncan Kunz already posted a rather torough explanation of the principles involved, but unfortunately he dealt with the reality of the situation (that the rad levels are higher in the VA belts) and was sumarrily blown-off as avoiding the question.

    I can see why nobody who can offer a cohesive argument bothers with that forum. I dove in thinking someone there might actually listen to what little information I could offer, only to be met with niggling nitpicks (ala Cosmic Dave), evasion, and demands of "proof" on my part. How does one have a rational discussion with someone whose entire position boils down to "You're a doody-head!"? #-o

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    Re: GLP nutter: Passing through Van Allen Belts generates X-

    Quote Originally Posted by ToSeek
    Ongoing discussion here on Godlike. The latest claim is that since X-ray machines generate X-rays by sending electrons into metal, sending the Apollo spacecraft through the Van Allen Belts would have the same effect. If anyone more knowledgeable than me wants to address this, please do so.
    In a sense, he's right. Sending high-energy protons towards a metal shell does produce what is called Bremsstrahlung (braking radiation). However, as JayUtah pointed out to me, calculating how much of this radiation would be focused inside the crew compartment is a HUGE undertaking - I can imagine letting a Cray chew on it for a few hours, and even then, the answer will be approximate. Which is why you normally measure radiation instead of trying to calculate it. Duncan Kuntz' post did a fair job of getting a first-order guesstimate, though it'd be interesting to know how all those various entities relate to each other. I suppose I'll have to do some research on my own...

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    Yes, secondary radiation, braking radiation, and Brehmsstrahlung are some of the common names for this effect. You slam charged particles into heavy elements and those elements give off x-rays as they absorb the particles. That's how you make x-rays for diagnostic purposes. Imagine a television tube, in which electrons are sprayed at a phosphor-coated surface to make it glow. Replace the phosphor coating with a plate of beryllium and you have an x-ray tube suitable for finding cavities in your teeth or bombs and fingernail files hidden amongst your underwear.

    In theory the poster is correct. Passing a spacecraft through the Van Allen belts, which are full of charged particles, will cause the spacecraft's outer skin to give off x-rays. And analytically computing that x-ray loading is a major pain in the kiester. But what the poster doesn't know or won't tell you is that the intensity of the secondary x-rays, as measured inside the CM cabin, is an order of magnitude less than you'd get in a chest x-ray at the hospital.

    Again this is one of those instances where the conspiracists latch onto some principle and milk it for all its potential for fear, uncertainty, and doubt (F.U.D.) without having the first clue about how powerfult the effect really is. In terms of manned flights through the Van Allen belts, the effect of secondary radiation is so minor that it generally only gets a footnote in radiation analyses.

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    Re: GLP nutter: Passing through Van Allen Belts generates X-

    I can imagine letting a Cray chew on it for a few hours...

    [shameless plug] My company makes computers that are much, much more powerful than a Cray. And not surprisingly some of them are used precisely for modeling energy transfer via radiation. [/shameless plug]

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    Re: GLP nutter: Passing through Van Allen Belts generates X-

    Quote Originally Posted by ToSeek
    Ongoing discussion here on Godlike. The latest claim is that since X-ray machines generate X-rays by sending electrons into metal, sending the Apollo spacecraft through the Van Allen Belts would have the same effect. If anyone more knowledgeable than me wants to address this, please do so.
    I don't know if it's me but these guys seem even more far out than the PX people, maybe it's because they can't shield their arguments with New Age hoopla......

    Quote Originally Posted by JayUtah
    [shameless plug] My company makes computers that are much, much more powerful than a Cray. And not surprisingly some of them are used precisely for modeling energy transfer via radiation. [/shameless plug]
    I want one for christmas but I still haven't come up with a suitable hoax to make the 15 million US$ it costs

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    Re: GLP nutter: Passing through Van Allen Belts generates X-

    Quote Originally Posted by JayUtah
    I can imagine letting a Cray chew on it for a few hours...

    [shameless plug] My company makes computers that are much, much more powerful than a Cray. And not surprisingly some of them are used precisely for modeling energy transfer via radiation. [/shameless plug]
    They aren't made out of Apple G5s are they :wink:
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    I once checked out one of the SuperComputers Jay's company makes, they use Pentiums IIRC.

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    He he, I'm aware of the "Big Mac" cluster. The guy literally used his credit card to buy a thousand off-the-shelf G5 Macs. The problem is that unless they change it over to ECC memory, they're going to be building the world's most beautiful cosmic ray detector.

    We use the leading edge CPUs from both Intel and AMD, depending on what the customer wants. The huge system we shipped last year to the Dept. of Energy contains more than 2,000 Xeons.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JayUtah
    He he, I'm aware of the "Big Mac" cluster. The guy literally used his credit card to buy a thousand off-the-shelf G5 Macs. The problem is that unless they change it over to ECC memory, they're going to be building the world's most beautiful cosmic ray detector.
    Sounds like they tried to make a proof of concept (ie. a cheap supercomputer) rather than a production machine. So I guess you don't worry too much about it

    Now trying to stay (if marginally) on topic: maybe HBs use non-ECC memory as radiation dosimeters (assuming any of them ever did any practical observations to support their "facts")

    [Editted for clarity (put quotes on Facts)]

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    Saxon on GLP is now saying that nothing could get through the Van Allen belt because it would melt because of the high MeV's. He apparently could support his clains on harmfull effects, then left.

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    Do these people know how miniscule an electron volt is? Do these people not believe in GPS or communication satellites?

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    No, yes, yes.

    Generally, they don't understand the measurements. They also seem to disregard any evidence that destroys their theories.. but then, you already know this

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    Gee, I think I'll weigh my car in milligrams.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rigel
    Saxon on GLP is now saying that nothing could get through the Van Allen belt because it would melt because of the high MeV's. He apparently could support his clains on harmfull effects, then left.
    Several there (I'm assuming, since anyone who doesn't explicitly give a name is listed as "Anonymous Coward") have misinterpreted MeV as "Million Volts." Others have clarified the term, and been ignored, so I saw no reason to bother.

    However, Saxon is the one denying the VA belts even exist. He bases this on... well, absolutely nothing, actually, other than his own "intuition" that a planetary magnetic field must simply repel the charged particles instead of trapping them in (generally) discrete belts. The farther you get from the planet, the weaker the magnetic field, ergo, the stronger the radiation must be. This coming from one who claims to be an Aerospace engineer with 9 patents to his name. (I'd considered asking him for the numbers so I could look them up on http://www.uspto.gov, but decided against it.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by DataCable
    This coming from one who claims to be an Aerospace engineer with 9 patents to his name. (I'd considered asking him for the numbers so I could look them up on http://www.uspto.gov, but decided against it.)
    You ought to, I can imagine what the patents are about........

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    Quote Originally Posted by JayUtah
    Gee, I think I'll weigh my car in milligrams.
    And while you are at it, use milliVUPs to measure the speed of the CPUs you use at work, your customers might object though.....

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by JayUtah
    ...potential for fear, uncertainty, and doubt (F.U.D.)
    Fear, uncertainty, doubt, grandstanding, and eructational dyspepsia...does that mean their data is FUDGED? #-o :-? 8-[ :^o

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sigma_Orionis
    use milliVUPs
    Educate the unenlightened ones. What is a milliVUP?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jocke
    Quote Originally Posted by Sigma_Orionis
    use milliVUPs
    Educate the unenlightened ones. What is a milliVUP?
    VUP is a Vax Unit of Performance, when the Vax/780 was released supposedly was able to process one million of instructions per second (in integer arithmetic) and it became a standard against which other machines were measured. In later tests it was found that the real performance was slightly less than half, since the Vax/780 had become a standard it's performance unit was redubbed VUP. This is interesting because during the better part of the 80s most computers where rated in MIPS (Millions of Instructions per second) according to the standard set by the Vax, the mess it made was so bad that a new standard had to be created: the Specmark (which BTW 1 SpecMark = 1 VUP).

    One last note: For the computers made by Jay's company, since most of their customers are interested in massive, high performance, highly accurate calculations, integer performance not very important. The interesting metric for those computers is called FLOPS (FLoating-point Operations Per Second) so his machines' performace is measured in TeraFLOPS (as he said in another thread )

    [Editted to correct the explanation of FLOPS]

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    There is an interesting variety of capitalizations involved too. The abbreviation for "tera" is the capital T, leading many in the industry to always capitalize "tera" when written out. And the base unit, FLOPS, derives from the acronym for "Floating-point Operations Per Second" (as opposed to "fixed-point", which refers to integer computations) and is therefore FLOPS even in the singular. (We all cringed when the cast of Terminator 3 reported SkyNet's speed in "teraFLOPS per second".) But it's awkward in the singular, leading to widespread informal singularization (and minisculization) to "flop", as in, "We just shipped a 500-gigaflop system."

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    Quote Originally Posted by DataCable View Post
    Oh gee, Saxon's still at it. I wasn't aware the theory had expanded to X-rays, I was still stuck on his completely unsubstantiated position that the Van Allen belts don't trap charged particles (and therefore have higher rad. levels than the space on either side), but rather simply repel the the ocean of radiation from the earth. Oh, and CME's are instantly lethal. (About how much radiation does it take to instantly kill the average human?)

    Of course, now that he located some "actual" numbers to latch onto as his "smoking gun" proof (which, despite this all-encompassing conspiracy to withhold the "real" numbers, somehow managed to get printed in the Washington Post), it's rather unlikely that any explanation of the real nature of radiation is going to make any difference. (We're all paid Gub'bmint disinformation operatives, don'chaknow.) He's also hung up on deriving a definite amount of radiation within a short period of time as a proportion from a longer period (i.e., x rad per year = x/365 rad per day, accurate to 4-5 decimal places, of course :roll: ), a practice which Jay just shot to pieces a few days ago via the "total rainfall" analogy.

    As to those more knowledgable, Duncan Kunz already posted a rather torough explanation of the principles involved, but unfortunately he dealt with the reality of the situation (that the rad levels are higher in the VA belts) and was sumarrily blown-off as avoiding the question.

    I can see why nobody who can offer a cohesive argument bothers with that forum. I dove in thinking someone there might actually listen to what little information I could offer, only to be met with niggling nitpicks (ala Cosmic Dave), evasion, and demands of "proof" on my part. How does one have a rational discussion with someone whose entire position boils down to "You're a doody-head!"? #-o
    https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley....Z066i002p00343
    Van Allen belt x rays

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    Thread necromancy alert. 15.5 years. Record?

    Fred
    Hey, you! "It's" with an apostrophe means "it is" or "it has." "Its" without an apostrophe means "belongs to it."

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    Quote Originally Posted by cptbligh View Post
    What about the Van Allen belt x rays?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nowhere Man View Post
    Thread necromancy alert. 15.5 years. Record?

    Fred
    I was surprised to see Jay Utah in the thread then looked at the date. I wish he'd come back here.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cptbligh View Post
    Wasn't relevant to the original thread topic. Best to let the thread go back to sleep.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
    I was surprised to see Jay Utah in the thread then looked at the date. I wish he'd come back here.
    He actually spoke of this elsewhere. I know why he abandoned this place, but for the same reasons, stating such might break the rules.

    Odd isn't it?

    And this is totally OT.

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