Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Scotch Tape X-Ray
While poking around the internet I stumbled across a news story on WPVI.com that let me to this: http://www.nature.com/news/2008/081022/full/news.2008.1185.html; an article by Katharine Sanderson about Scotch Tape shooting out X-rays. How about that? Scotch Tape emits X-rays when it unrolls. Here’s the video: http://www.nature.com/nature/videoarchive/x-rays/. It’s a little dry but stick with it, pretty cool, no?
As it says in the beginning of the article, “Christmas could bring with it a new hazard…” Well, not really – the process has to happen in a vacuum but that’s pretty cool when you think about it; such a common, everyday commodity like cellophane tape producing X-rays. From what I can glean it has something to do with photons, ions, electrons and how they interact with each other when the tape is unspooled. Simple tape can produce 50 kilovolts. That’s pretty amazing but hey, what do I know? I’m just a singer in a rock and roll band.
It begs the question, what sort of applications may this hold in the future? Who knows, perhaps a couple of hundred spools of tape could light a home for a year or so? The X-ray tech will wrap you in cellophane the next time you need an X-ray? Silly? Yes but still, that’s pretty interesting.
The cool picture of the X-rayed finger is from Nature.com, you should check ‘em out. Interesting stuff.