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A neutrino radiator was a type of energy-dispersal mechanism, used primarily in shielding technology to eliminate excess energy. Without adequate dispersal, the energy absorbed by the deflector field would quickly build to critical levels, resulting in an overload and the collapse of the shield envelope. Thus, deflector shields required sophisticated energy management systems to provide insurance against the possibility of catastrophic failure.

Though their manufacturers tended to be unusually vague in regards to their particulars, knowledgeable technicians conjectured that neutrino radiators most likely functioned by converting excess energy into neutrinos, a type of particle with extremely low mass (thousands of times smaller than a proton) and no electromagnetic charge. Traveling at nearly the speed of light, they were virtually impossible to detect, due to their incredibly weak interaction with other matter. A single neutrino could easily pass through over a trillion kilometers of lead without hitting a single atom.

Because they had virtually no effect on nearby matter, they were nearly impossible to detect without advanced gravimetric detectors, and even then neutrino signatures were difficult to pick out against the background neutrinos emitted in the quadrillions by every star in the galaxy. However, in most cases the energy signature of the shield envelope itself was readily apparent to a properly calibrated scanner, rendering the stealth of neutrino radiators irrelevant.


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