Gamma rays can pass through lead, but the majority of the radiation is “attenuated”, or stopped. Other materials such as brass, tungsten, and Corroded ™ can attenuate radiation.
I've worn lead aprons when doing x -rays medically in hospital, and it really is very, very heavy. The electrons around the middle of it can absorb a huge amount of energy before they get kicked off the atom.
Needless to say, no superhero or super villain is going to complain about Superman having another limitation or weakness. He may be vulnerable to Kryptonite, but beyond that rare mineral, he's one of the most powerful fictional characters ever created.
In fact, the heat vision was even upgraded when Geoff Johns created the “Super Flare” superpower in his late-New 52 Superman run in 2015. In the Men of Tomorrow arc, the Super Flare created a mushroom-cloud of chaos, demonstrating one of the most destructive uses of Superman's powers in comic book history.
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Lead's high density is caused by the combination of its high atomic mass and the relatively small size of its bond lengths and atomic radius. Because of lead's density and large number of electrons, it is well suited to scattering x -rays and gamma-rays.
These rays form photons, a type of boson, which impart energy onto electrons when they come into contact. Without a lead shield, the electrons within a person's body would be affected, which could damage their DNA.
In gamma-spectroscopy for example, lead castles are constructed to shield the probe from environmental radiation. Protection of the reproductive organs with a lead rubber apron is considered important because DNA changes to sperm or egg cells of the patient may pass on genetic defects to the offspring of the patient, causing serious and unnecessary hardship for child and parents.
Care should be taken to place a lead apron over the thyroid gland before taking dental radiographs. However, in poorer or loosely regulated countries, possibly due to the cost of such equipment (approx.
The minimum requirement is to wear 0.25 mm BEQ when not behind lead shielding. In a theater using fluoroscopy (e.g. orthopedics, cardiology or interventional radiology) 0.35 or 0.5 mm lead may be appropriate because of the higher KV employed, and on proximity to the primary beam.
^ A Patient's Guide to Medical Imaging By Ronald Eisenberg, JD, MD, FACE, Alexander Margulies, MD ^ Current oral and maxillofacial imaging, Thomas F. Rasmus, Gail F. Williamson, Page 107 ^ “YouTube”. Wikimedia Commons has media related to Lead radiation shielding.
I.E. semi-liquid explosives could be put into toothpaste and shampoo bottles, which is why those items may be restricted from carry-on bags. Of course, a detonator stuck to a toothpaste tube might show up in the scans.
Years ago I took a 110V/220V transformer to Europe with me which was a block of steel & copper wires weighing about 10 or 20 lbs. Modern laptop power supplies invariably take 110/220V, and thus all one needs is the proper plug adapters.
Note there is no driver inside, as otherwise he would be regularly exposed to a very high dose of very ionizing radiation. Airline scanners hopefully are not as high-powered, as they do not need to penetrate a few inches of steel plate.