Thursday, October 23, 2008

Scotch Tape Radiation

We are bathed in background cosmic radiation. If you fly cross country, you are exposed to roughly the radiation of dental x-rays. But now, with news that Scotch tape gives off x-rays, should present wrappers everywhere be concerned? The answer, for now, is no. Peeling Scotch tape has produced x-rays only in a vacuum, though the radiation was enough to x-ray a finger (see image). Despite this finding, you will continue to lose the end of the tape roll.

(image credit: AP / UCLA Laboratory of Low Temperatures and Acoustics, Carlos Camara, Juan V. Escobar and Seth J. Putterman)