Ionic Radiation

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Ionic radiation is a unique form of particle radiation that is difficult to harness or artificially produce. It is notably used by the Eternals of New Genesis and their sister colony of Titan. Also known as 'cosmic rays', exposure to ionic radiation is one of the most well-known catalysts of a metagene crisis.

This should not be confused with the similarly-named "ionizing radiation", a category of energy waves and high-energy particles, such as X-rays, gamma photons, and alpha/beta particles.

Ionic Radiation are particles which occur under circumstances that create vast amounts of ionizing radiation. Quasar pulses and black holes are the most common sources of these high-intensity emissions but they are highly prevalent in the nuclear reactions of C-class stars, particularly red giants. Separating ionic radiation from X-rays only happens when certain rare earths or minerals are in the path of the X-ray's trajectory. The radiation stream is split erratically by the composition of these objects, with the x-rays and gamma rays bounding in one direction and the ionic particles in another.

Those ionic particles are dipolar muons, in an unstable quantum charge. Manipulating the up/down spin on this type of lepton causes the expansion or constriction of an atom's valence electron shell. Since leptons are not affected by the strong gravitational force, manipulating the muon charge primarily affects electrostatic repulsion and the distance between atoms in molecule chains. These muons can even be manipulated into taking on the role of an atomic structure as an ultra-dense replacement for electrons. This utility is what allows a Mother Box to store vast amounts of energy and raw material. This disruption also robs the mitochondria of Kryptonian cellular structures of their primary energy source. Kryptonians exposed to ionic radiation find their abilities greatly diminished and they revert to a baseline biological capability that is more comparable to other mammalian species.

Creating dipolar muons is a difficult and expensive task on Earth, requiring major supercolliders and significant investment in energetic shield technology. It is not a task outside of reach, and there have been several incidents of people surviving exposure with greatly heightened new abilities (notably the Fantastic Four and Simon Williams).