Lecture 32: Chemical and Biological Effects of Radiation, Smelling Nuclear Bullshit
Description: Radiation damage to organisms is explained, starting from single electron excitations all the way to DNA/cellular damage, cell division effects, organ and organism-level damage, and radiation-induced mutations. Radiolysis of water is linked between damage to cells and damage to reactor materials. The students then embark on debunking internet articles and poorly-conceived, published scientific studies about whether cell phones cause cancer (they don’t!) by identifying incorrect physics, misinterpreted data, conflicting abstracts/conclusions, biased studies, and insufficient sample sizes/statistics. One particular internet blogger is lambasted for his apparently willful manipulation of the truth to push an erroneous message.
Instructor: Michael Short
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