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Q & A: Light from Uranium?

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Most recent answer: 07/30/2009
Q:
Hi, If Radiation is a high energy form of light, what stops us from wrapping a hunk of Uranium (or some other radioactive substance) in a ball of photovoltaic cells to collect the energy? Are there any differences between the photons in sunlight and the photons in gamma radiation? -Thanks!
- Justin (age 31)
Hollywood, Ca, USA
A:
In principle one can collect the gamma radiation from Uranium or other radioactive substances and convert it to electrical energy.  However, that process would be very inefficient compared to other methods of extraction of the equivalent amount of energy, such as the mundane heating up of water to run a turbine.  

There is a discussion about conversion on  
 
LeeH

(published on 07/30/2009)

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