[ RadSafe ] Wikipedia article on "alpha decay"

Roger Helbig rhelbig at california.com
Wed Mar 28 03:27:41 CDT 2007

Radsafe members, here is a disturbing new effort by very active anti-DU crusaders on the net, rewrite the Wikipedia that many netziens use to learn about many things .. here are Bob Nichols, self-described journalist (he even went so far as to call himself a war correspondent even though he never left San Francisco area to report on the war!) comments on the accuracy of the Wikipedia information on Alpha decay and his suggestion that anti-DU activists rewrite it to better "inform" the public.

Nichols, by the way is considered a "science guru" of this list and his sole experience is being the mouthpiece for Rokke and Moret

This conversation is publicly available in AmericanDUST (DU Study Team) in the health section of Yahoo Groups - it can be accessed by Google among other things .. no dissenting information, that is information by anyone with any modicum of actual scientific knowledge, is permitted on this tightly monitored moderated list.  

Bob Nichols replies 

What an Excellent question, Romi!

Let's see what we can put together. 

Certainly anything written by Leuren Moret, Doug Rokke, Dennis Kyne or Karen Parker. 

Also Upsilquitch, Asaf Durakovich, Tedd Weymann, Chris Busby, Rosalie Bertell, Marion Fulk, and Ernest Sternglass and myself, Bob Nichols. 

Who do you suggest?

I would include the files on: 

I'll add more as I think of them. 

Any suggestions?

Romi Elnagar of Baton Rouge, Louisiana asks


What sources ARE good?  I have been assuming that anything in print
must not be good, since it would have to go through too many hoops 
to get published.  So, what is left is information on the Net.  Are
there any sources of information that we CAN trust, and if so, where
are they?

Subject: Re: [AmericanDUST] Wikipedia article on "alpha decay"

Romi, All,

Yes, Wikipeda does their dead level best to slant their nuclear weapons derivatives articles and entries to favor the DOD/CIA/DOE stand on the perpetual use of radiation weapons. 

For that reason alone I encourage everyone to boycott Wikipedia and use alternative services. 

To give you but one example in these simple entries on Alpha radiation. All forms of Uranium are Alpha emitters. A milligram of uranium gives off about 1,251,000 powerful little Alpha "bullets" a day.

Wiki-Lies says this in their careful whitewash of Uranium "Alpha particles have a typical kinetic energy of 5 MeV "

What on earth is a 5 MeV you might ask? 

It means 5 Million Electron Volts. 

What does that mean you might ask? What is there to compare to it?

Ha! The person or Committee who very carefully wrote this article to minimize the effect of Uranium radiation did Not mention that the Force measured in Electron Volts that holds the cells of our bodies together is about 10 Electron Volts. 

Not 10 Million! Just plain old 10 Electron Volts. 

Now what on earth do you think happens to a poor little old 10 eV cell in our bodies when it is hit with one 5 Million electron Volt Helium "bullet" after another? 

Don't be shy or timid, folks, speak up. What do you think happens?


  On 3/27/07, Romi Elnagar wrote:      While trying to understand the complexities of depleted uranium, I came across a suggestion to read the Wikipedia article on "alpha decay," specifically the section on "toxicity."
  For the benefit of you on this list who may also be mystified by the science of depleted uranium, here is that article.
  I have to caution you, however, that Wikipedia articles evidently are not entirely trustworthy.  Perhaps when our science gurus have time, they can discover any flaws in this particular piece. 
  Hajja Romi
  Alpha decay    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia  
  Alpha decay is a form of radioactive decay in which an atomic nucleus ejects an alpha particle through electromagnetic force and transforms into a nucleus with mass number 4 less and atomic number 2 less. For example:
      although this is usually written as:
      (The second form is also preferred because, to the casual observer, the first form appears electrically unbalanced. Fundamentally, the recoiling nucleus is soon stripped of two electrons to neutralize the hungry helium cation.) 
  An alpha particle is a helium nucleus, and both mass number and atomic number are conserved. Alpha decay can essentially be thought of as nuclear fission where the parent nucleus splits into two daughter nuclei. Alpha decay is fundamentally a quantum tunneling process. Unlike beta decay, alpha decay is governed by the strong nuclear force .
  Alpha particles have a typical kinetic energy of 5 MeV (that is ¡Ö0.13% of their total energy, i.e. 110 TJ/kg) and a speed of 15,000 km/s. This corresponds to a velocity of around 0.05c. Even so, they are often absorbed within a few centimetres of air.
  Because of alpha decay, virtually all of the helium produced on Earth comes from trapped underground deposits associated with minerals containing uranium or thorium, and brought to the surface as a by-product of natural gas production.
  [ edit] History  By 1928, George Gamow had solved the theory of the alpha decay via tunneling. The alpha particle is trapped in a potential well by the nucleus. Classically, it is forbidden to escape, but according to the then newly discovered principles of Quantum mechanics, it has a tiny (but non-zero) probability of "tunneling" through the barrier and appearing on the other side to escape the nucleus. 
  [ edit] Toxicity  As any heavy charged particle, alpha particles lose their energy within a very short distance in dense media, causing significant damage to surrounding biomolecules. Generally, external alpha irradiation is not harmful because alpha particles are completely absorbed by the thin layer of dead skin cells in the outermost layer of the skin as well as by a few centimeters of air. However, if a substance radiating alpha particles is ingested, inhaled by, injected into, or introduced through the skin (shrapnel, corrosive chemicals) into an organism it may become a risk, potentially inflicting very serious cellular damage. 
  One common source of alpha radiation is radon, a naturally occurring, radioactive gas found in soil, rock and sometimes groundwater. When radon gas is inhaled, some of the radon gas and its associated decay particles stick to the inner lining of the lung. The decay particles that remain after the air is exhaled will continue to decay over time, damaging the lung's sensitive tissue. [1] Shrapnel from depleted uranium poses another such risk of alpha-emitters. 
  The death of Marie Curie was caused by leukemia from exposure to alpha emitters such as radium during her years of work. 
  The 2006 death of Russian dissident Alexander Litvinenko is thought to be due to his being poisoned with polonium-210 , an active alpha emitter.


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