xkcd illustration of radiation dose

xkcd illustration of radiation dose. Click for larger version

Last week I struggled to express as clearly as I could the key quantities relating to measurements of radiation dose. I felt it would help to make sense of some of the very few numbers emerging from Japan with respect to the Fukushima nuclear crisis. But things can always be said another way, and my friend drew my attention to an interesting graphical representation of dose – see the figure at the head of the article – devised by the Randall Munroe at xkcd. I love it. I love the way this graphical representation engages one’s mind in quite a different way to the effect of numbers and text. Incidentally, the article is released under a licence which means that if you are not trying to make money out of it, you are welcome to share it. I appreciate that.

xkcd is a slightly odd site demonstrating a ‘physicsy’ kind of humour, to which end I thought you might enjoy the following gems. They are self-explanatory – and some of them are literally self-explanatory! – so I leave them with you for what they are worth. Goodnight.


Representation of the scale of the universe as 'height'

Representation of the scale of the universe as 'height' -Click for larger version

A self-explanatory cartoon

A self-explanatory cartoon

Haven't you ever felt this way?

Haven't you ever felt this way?

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2 Responses to “xkcd”

  1. peter woolliams Says:

    Maybe this could have helped your recent problem:


  2. Edmond Hui Says:

    Love the cartoons, especially the self explanatory one. Infinite regressions (if that’s what it’s called when an image appears smaller within itself and therefore infinite times) are fun, but when they are camouflaged like this they are delightful.

    The counterclockwise one only works in the northern hemisphere, I think.

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