[ RadSafe ] Beat phenomena and health physics

Bill Prestwich prestwic at mcmaster.ca
Tue Feb 24 08:23:32 CST 2015

Hi Joe,

I think, since photons are emitted randomly, that the interference effects
that occur with electrically produced sinusoids are not significant.


-----Original Message-----
From: radsafe-bounces at agni.phys.iit.edu
[mailto:radsafe-bounces at agni.phys.iit.edu] On Behalf Of JPreisig at aol.com
Sent: Sunday, February 22, 2015 10:57 PM
To: radsafe at agni.phys.iit.edu
Subject: [ RadSafe ] Beat phenomena and health physics

Dear Radsafe,
     The phenomena of beats (see your undergraduate  text in
physics/mechanics) involves what happens when 2 or more fundamental
frequencies of a system are close in frequency (or Energy)  to one  another.
Two such sinusoidal signals (or more) produce sum and difference
frequencies, which can be important in problems.
     I've been discussing beats concerning the  fundamental wobble
frequencies.  I also said something perhaps about beats  and the Sodium
     Another situation where beats might be important  is in health physics
and perhaps even physics.  We Health Physicists  measure gamma and other
spectra using a MultiChannel Analyzer and similar  equipment.  There may be
times when our gamma spectra have peaks that are  close to one another and
may produce beat (sum and difference frequency)  peaks.  Do we observe such
peaks in our spectra???  Will these beat  phenomena affect our physics
results???  Quite possibly.  These extra  peaks may affect spectral
stripping and other results.
     Remember,   E = h x nu, where nu is the  frequency in atomic and/or 
nuclear physics.
     Perhaps physicists doing sensitive experiments  account for such beat
phenomena.  I don't remember hearing about beat  phenomena in my Health
Physics courses.  I first heard about beat phenomena  in a physics course or
two.  Then I heard about it again in geophysics  research.
     Beat phenomena might affect our every day Health  Physics work???  Oh
     I seem to remember Cesium-137 having closely  spaced decay (energy)
gamma peaks.???
     Regards,    Joe Preisig
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