Radiation Protection Today - Spring 2022 - Page 37


Atomic Gardening
The summer issue seems a good time to bring you a gardening article . Atomic gardens were a part of Atoms for Peace , a programme to develop peaceful uses of fission energy after World War II . Plants were exposed to radioactive sources , typically Cobalt-60 , in order to introduce beneficial mutations such as resilience to adverse weather or a faster growth rate . The experiments were mostly conducted in giant gamma gardens . These were typically five acres in size and were arranged in a circular pattern with a retractable radiation source in the middle . Plants were usually laid out like slices of a pie , stemming from the central radiation source ; this pattern produced a range of radiation doses over the radius from the centre . Radioactive bombardment would take place for around twenty hours . The plants nearest the centre usually died , while the ones further out often featured tumours and other growth abnormalities . Beyond these were the plants of interest .
The Radioactive Orchestra
The Radioactive Orchestra is a musical translator , based on the structure of atomic nuclei , which creates melodies that are based on the nuclear energy levels and gamma radiation observed in experiments at accelerator laboratories around the world . Created by the Nuclear Training and Safety Centre of the KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden it is a great example of how science and art are linked .
The above photograph shows the ' gamma field ' installed in the radiation breeding field of Japan ' s National Agriculture and Food Research Organization Crop Research Division from the sky . ' Gamma field ' ended operation in 2018 .
We welcome your suggestions for items to include in Backscatter . Email RPToday @ srp-uk . org
Radiation Protection Today Summer 2022
How does it work ? Every nuclide has its own unique set of excited states and decay patterns , creating its own musical fingerprint . Its energy is converted to an audible frequency in Hertz and the higher the gamma ray energy , the higher the pitch of the sound . This is also visualized graphically as a coloured gamma ray emitted from a schematic image of the nucleus . Using control buttons , The Radioactive Orchestra enables the user to modify the sounds . Several different nuclides can be made to “ radiate music ” simultaneously . The results can be stored in various file formats or exported into different applications . Want to hear it how it sounds ? Listen to Axel Boman and The Radioactive Orchestra featuring Rubidium-88 and Cobalt-60 https :// youtu . be / x7sNjIDWsWg