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Old 12-11-2012, 06:41 PM   #31
Anthony
 
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Default Re: How good would a sword made out of a meteorite really be?

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Originally Posted by Disliker of the mary sue View Post
Meh I know that, I was sort of trying to imply that if you had the knowledge and technology to create synthetic radioactive materials that would actually be dangerous to be around, you'd probably wouldn't be making swords out of it since not only is a unhealthy and stupid idea, it's also probably uneconomical and a waste of perfectly good resources.
Well, we made glow in the dark watches with radium, which involved workers licking paint brushes (with radium paint) to keep them sharp, and resulted in quite a lot of mouth cancer, so stupidity about radioactives is quite possible. The easiest way to create a dangerously radioactive sword is to have relatively high tech, and then have radioactive materials mixed in with scrap metal (you get the occasional radiation accident of this type).
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Old 12-11-2012, 07:06 PM   #32
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Default Re: How good would a sword made out of a meteorite really be?

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Well, we made glow in the dark watches with radium, which involved workers licking paint brushes (with radium paint) to keep them sharp, and resulted in quite a lot of mouth cancer.
Maybe not. The standard disease of radium workers was "radium jaw" which about as much chemical effect (Ra replaces Ca in bone) as a radiation induced one, and seems to have killed by necrosis (tissue death) not cancer.
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Old 12-11-2012, 07:58 PM   #33
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Default Re: How good would a sword made out of a meteorite really be?

Apparently uranium dust is rather dangerous if inhaled, so you'd want to take some precautions when sharpening your uranium sword.
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Old 12-11-2012, 08:06 PM   #34
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Default Re: How good would a sword made out of a meteorite really be?

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Apparently uranium dust is rather dangerous if inhaled, so you'd want to take some precautions when sharpening your uranium sword.
Uranium dust is about as toxic as lead dust; it's something to be careful about, but for anyone who regularly expects to use a sword, terminal sharp object poisoning is a much bigger risk.
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Old 12-11-2012, 08:31 PM   #35
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Default Re: How good would a sword made out of a meteorite really be?

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Uranium dust is about as toxic as lead dust; it's something to be careful about, but for anyone who regularly expects to use a sword, terminal sharp object poisoning is a much bigger risk.
Lead paint caused a lot of kids to grow up mentally retarded, so I don't think you should downplay uranium poisoning by downplaying lead poison.
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Old 12-12-2012, 04:06 AM   #36
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Default Re: How good would a sword made out of a meteorite really be?

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Lead paint caused a lot of kids to grow up mentally retarded, so I don't think you should downplay uranium poisoning by downplaying lead poison.
There's a difference in kind and not just in degree between 'potential health hazard in the future for a fraction of those exposed' and 'can kill you on a combat time scale'. Cigarettes have killed and harmed an enormous number of people, but the risk of them on the battlefield is essentially not worth considering next to the risk of sharp, pointy things and heavy, crushy things.
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Old 12-12-2012, 04:31 AM   #37
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Default Re: How good would a sword made out of a meteorite really be?

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Not all radioactives are transuranic.
Very true. Tritium, for instance, is a radioactive isotope of hydrogen.

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There are radioactive isotopes of iron.
Theoretically: the decay of Fe-54 is too rare ever to have been observed, and Fe-60 is extinct.
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Old 12-12-2012, 07:29 AM   #38
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Default Re: How good would a sword made out of a meteorite really be?

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Theoretically: the decay of Fe-54 is too rare ever to have been observed, and Fe-60 is extinct.
My knowledge of this subject is of course as sketchy as most peoples, but wouldn't you be able to manufacture Fe-60 in a particle accelerator? I don't know why you'd do that, but I'm sort of trying to sort the ways this works out in my head.

And the other question is could you end up with a radioactive isotope by exposing it to some other highly energetic environment for a sufficient amount of time? The classic RPG one is either a "simple" nuclear explosion or lying around in a post nuclear wasteland, but there's also inside a reactor (whether normal and active, or melted down a-la-chernobyl, or a "natural" reactor like the ones they've found in Africa with the funky radiation-based ecosystems) or I suppose hanging around near a radioactive super-being. But once you've got radioactive super-beings, all physics has gone flying out the window and it's really only "radiation", not anything particularly related to reality.
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Old 12-12-2012, 08:20 AM   #39
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Default Re: How good would a sword made out of a meteorite really be?

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That reminds me of someone's home version of Path Magic, with secret rituals capable of embodying ephemeral concepts into physical form. Like creating a dagger sharpened by a scorned woman's vengeance or something like that.
I would be interested in seeing that. Do you happen to have a link to it or the username/email of the creator?
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Old 12-12-2012, 08:41 AM   #40
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Default Re: How good would a sword made out of a meteorite really be?

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wouldn't you be able to manufacture Fe-60 in a particle accelerator?
Probably, although I am having no luck finding out just how you'd do it. The creation of heavy elements in supernovae isn't something astrophysicists fully understand as yet: it definitely happens, but the exact details of the processes are not clear.
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And the other question is could you end up with a radioactive isotope by exposing it to some other highly energetic environment for a sufficient amount of time?
Yes. This is called induced radioactivity, and it's what causes the structures of nuclear reactors to become radioactive.
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