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Watch a GoPro Go Through an Electron Beam Irradiator


Here’s a 2.5-minute video recorded by a GoPro Session action camera that was given a trip through an electron beam irradiator.

“Radiation shielded Gopro Session is sent through electron beam irradiator,” writes Andrew Seltzman of RTF Technologies, who posted the video in December 2016. “[T]here is a 1/4″ thick lead plate above the camera box to provide shielding from direct irradiation from the beam. For this run the beam current was turned up to full power allowing the ionized air glow to be visible in the dark.”

Seltzman is a plasma physics graduate student at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. The glowing blocks you see pass below the irradiator ahead of the camera are calcite samples that react to the electron beam hitting them.

Here’s the same experiment done with a GoPro Hero 3+ Silver:

If you’re wondering what you’re seeing in these videos, Redditor ParentPostLacksWang offers an explanation. This device is like an airport baggage X-ray machine, except it pumps out extremely lethal levels of electron beam radiation instead of X-rays. How lethal? Possibly hundreds or thousands of times the amount of radiation that could kill a human, every single second.

The blue glow you see below the irradiator device as the GoPros approach it is apparently the air being ionized by the electrons. And the white dots you see are electrons hitting the sensor of the cameras… despite the GoPros being “protected” by a heavily radiation-shielded box. Scary stuff.