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Dekkarius

How many bananas would it take to kill a man by radiation damage?

30 posts in this topic

So we were talking about bananas on the Asylum channel of the teamspeak, and then I whipped out my nuclear background and this happened:

 

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When a person eats a banana, they incur a specific amount of radiation damage due to the radioactive fraction of the potassium present in the banana. Of the potassium in that banana, about 0.0117% of it is potassium-40, which unstable on a nuclear level. This radioactive potassium will deliver approximately 0.1 uSv (microsieverts) of damaging radiation exposure to the victim that consumed the banana.

 

The potassium-40 decays with a half life of about 1.25 billion years, which, to save you the math, means that with 1g of potassium-40, 31 atoms per second will decay, undergoing beta decay. Potassium-40 is interesting in that it undergoes all 3 possible types of beta decay! Very few isotopes can do this. 89.28% of the time, it decays into calcium-40 and emits an electron with 1.33 MeV (mega-electron volts) an an antineutrino. 10.72% of the time, it decays to argon-40 by electron capture, and emits a 1.460 MeV gamma ray and a neutrino. About 0.001% of the time, it will decay to argon-40 via emitting a positron and a neutrino.

 

0.1uSv is delivered by a single banana through its radioactive potassium, but how much is dangerous? Well, if you absorb about 400 mSv (millisieverts), and it happens fast enough, you might turn red and feel sick. To actually have a chance of dying at all, you need to absorb about 2Sv (2000 mSv or 2000000 uSv). In this case many would get significantly ill but recover. Since we want a guaranteed kill here, we will need at least 8Sv, or 8000000 uSv, which is enough to ensure you'll die in the next week or two of aplastic anemia in a best case scenario.

 

8Sv is going to take about 80 million standard, 150g bananas worth of potassium to deliver through ingestion. Also, you'd have to do this in about a day to ensure that you don't heal from the damage fast enough to avoid death.

 

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I would also like to note that, aside from the recruitment process, this is my first post to these forums. Next week, if I can get a hold of an astrophysicist to help me out, we'll explore the necessary mass of bananas required to collapse under its own weight sufficiently that it ignites a nuclear chain reaction and gives birth to a star.

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Welcome to the forums! Nice post :)

 

The second question would seem rather straightforward, discussing just the mass necessary for stellar ignition. That is probably assuming a pure hydrogen star though, and not taking into account the hydrocarbon composition of the banana. You would lose a lot of energy from radiation by the (relatively) high-Z carbon that would otherwise go to sustaining the heating of the hydrogen. This isn't a trivial problem - just ask the folks at the National Ignition Facility. Mixing of the hydrocarbon outer ablator layer of the capsule into the DT fuel greatly degrades the efficiency of the nuclear reaction.

 

Of course hotter stars do end up burning all the light elements up to carbon and beyond (stopping at around iron or nickel, when fission starts to become more efficient than fusion), so there is clearly a temperature that this would become possible. That mostly means a higher density and pressure due to a greater mass of bananas than would otherwise be needed. I'll leave finding the temperature peak of the cross-section for C-H plasma fusion as an exercise to the reader, since I should really get back to work :) Once this is found, however, it should be pretty straightforward to calculate the pressure/density necessary to reach this temperature, and hence the mass and number of 150g bananas.

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That is probably the best 2nd forum post I´ve seen :) , your contribution to our S&E subdivision is obvious now, you need to figure out how to build the first banana nuclear bomb for Imperium when we are live in PU, you have roughly 2 years to achieve that...

WarWulf and Maverick like this

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Chaos: Thank you!

 

Supraluminal: Iron is pretty much the most stable element from a fission vs fusion standpoint. Would the star then become a massive sphere of iron?

 

Mjolnir: I have no idea how to type an umlaut anymore. Also you likely killed a southeast Asian country via starvation with your excessive banana consumption.

 

Rotorax: I'm doing it as hard as I can.

 

Archangel: No.

 

Mother Goose: Just balance it out with table salt so that they stay in the right ratio. This can't possibly go wrong.

 

I will look into other things that need not be discussed for further analysis! Kriger from Archer is my hero.

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Mother Goose: Just balance it out with table salt so that they stay in the right ratio. This can't possibly go wrong.

 

 

 

Haha! I had a co-worker who used to be a long haul trucker. At one point after a doctor visit, his urine samples came back with salts damn near off the charts. Nurses told him he had to reduce his sodium, potassium..etc intake, and asked what the hell he was doing to have such high levels. Turns out when he was on the road all he drank was powerades, never drank any water.

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@Dekkarius - it's mostly what's in the core that matters. As heavier elements get formed through fusion, they will tend to migrate inward, and the lighter elements will move out. So the core could be mostly elements up to iron. The star will eventually have nothing left to burn and won't sustain the fusion reaction any more. A star massive enough to burn elements up to iron would probably collapse and go nova at that point, then it's on to a black hole.

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Meh, since you have a nuclear background, everything you know about the subject is wrong anyway, since i already explained a long time ago that the universe is made of lego.....can't for the life of me find the post about it anymore though =(

rotorax likes this

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Meh, since you have a nuclear background, everything you know about the subject is wrong anyway, since i already explained a long time ago that the universe is made of lego.....can't for the life of me find the post about it anymore though =(

 

That was one spectacular post worth of a MVP! I could look that up for you nova...

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That was one spectacular post worth of a MVP! I could look that up for you nova...

 

If you could find it that would be great...i've tried everything to find it but to no avail.

 

I think it's a conspiracy because they didn't want the world to know that the universe is made of Lego, or even maybe Legp =)

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I found it! But it seems that some pictures are no longer available, maybe you can replace them using your backup (you do have backups.... :huh: right?)

 

Everybody, behold the truth and possibly one of the best posts from Pre-split era. Watch, and believe...

 

 

Ah you are new to the fact that actually the entire universe is made out of lego? Let me open your eyes to the truth with this simple example:

 

Lets look at this table:

Posted Image

 

A simple enough every day object. If your brain is already accepting the fact that the universe is made out of lego, you will see the bricks in this picture, but others will see it as a wooden table, trust me on this.

 

Now if we zoom in on that spot where someone just sneezed we will see that it is actually glowing:

Posted Image

 

This is because of Lego microorganisms which emit the light when they are sexually active, which is all the time:

Posted Image

 

These organisms have DNA, just like us:

Posted Image

 

And of course even on an atomic level everything is made up of lego:

Posted Image

(some scientists believe the above picture is the smallest particle of lego that can be seen, however others claim there is a mysterious legp particle that actually holds the universe together)

 

Or course when going back up the scale we can see that lego atoms are not always a good thing:

Posted Image

 

Posted Image

 

Posted Image

 

But in the end everything is made possible by lego, as you can see.

Clearly if it wasn't for lego we would not exist at all (or legp if you believe some scientists)

 

Thank you lego!

Posted Image

 

 

nova, you can´t find it because its in Fleet off-topic section

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I found it! But it seems that some pictures are no longer available, maybe you can replace them using your backup (you do have backups.... :huh: right?)

 

Everybody, behold the truth and possibly one of the best posts from Pre-split era. Watch, and believe...

 

 

Ah you are new to the fact that actually the entire universe is made out of lego? Let me open your eyes to the truth with this simple example:

 

Lets look at this table:

Posted Image

 

A simple enough every day object. If your brain is already accepting the fact that the universe is made out of lego, you will see the bricks in this picture, but others will see it as a wooden table, trust me on this.

 

Now if we zoom in on that spot where someone just sneezed we will see that it is actually glowing:

Posted Image

 

This is because of Lego microorganisms which emit the light when they are sexually active, which is all the time:

Posted Image

 

These organisms have DNA, just like us:

Posted Image

 

And of course even on an atomic level everything is made up of lego:

Posted Image

(some scientists believe the above picture is the smallest particle of lego that can be seen, however others claim there is a mysterious legp particle that actually holds the universe together)

 

Or course when going back up the scale we can see that lego atoms are not always a good thing:

Posted Image

 

Posted Image

 

Posted Image

 

But in the end everything is made possible by lego, as you can see.

Clearly if it wasn't for lego we would not exist at all (or legp if you believe some scientists)

 

Thank you lego!

Posted Image

 

 

nova, you can´t find it because its in Fleet off-topic section

 

Ah thanks for this, no i do not have the backups since i simply linked to pictures on the web (the most sure-fire way to ensure that after a few months your post makes no sense anymore because of missing pics) but i have replaced these and will save the text plus images so i can spread the lego knowledge =D

Edited by Weyoun
spoilered long duplicate content -mod weyoun
Maverick and rotorax like this

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What is the formula and dangers of the banana after going through the digestion processes and transformation to fecal matter?

 

Are there any residual hazards if I were to use it for compost and grow more bananas from it in my garden? Are those bananas even MORE dangerous?

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Swiftsure:

 

http://www.uptodate.com/contents/chapter-12a-distribution-of-potassium-between-the-cells-and-ecf

 

98% of potassium is located within cells in the human body, ensuring near perfect distribution of the radioactive isotope due to its chemical properties being identical to stable potassium with very little of it floating around in the extra-cellular fluid. This also somewhat amplifies the radiation damage as the ECF can provide almost no shielding from the beta (major factor) and gamma radiation that results, nor the high energy ionization near matter-antimatter annihilation gammas due to positron emission.

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Apollox: Most of the potassium would be eliminated through urine since the kidneys kick it out, so you would need to collect that to concentrate all the used potassium. Be sure to mix your urine with plenty of carbon bearing matter like dead leaves and let it sit for a while so that the urine can be broken down into beneficial ammonia, and to dilute it so that you don't poison your new, more radioactive banana trees that can soak it up. The upper limit here is in how much more potassium the trees will take in from your used urine after you try to kill yourself with those bananas. If you try hard, you will reduce the mass of bananas required to kill by radiation by millions.

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Sorry folks but I just farted and cleaned out the whole room, how would you describe the mass of that. Didn't need any bananas to achieve that. Just think if you designed a fart extractor extintuator to collect this marvelous gas and load it into a missle just one hit with it and you wont need a boarding party to get them out of there.

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