I love Uranium! What a wondrous, mysterious, powerful, and somewhat dangerous element. For thousands of years humans have used this element for colorant and more recently for energy. As amazing as Uranium is, did you know how beautiful it can be?
These pictures were taken under a digital light microscope, in my laboratory, at magnifications of 40x to 400x. The specimens used were tiny grains of uranium many times smaller than a grain of salt. As beautiful as these pieces are, breathing one into your lungs could be quite serious! I worse a dust mask, gloves, goggles, and took full laboratory safety measures when working with the Uranium. My Geiger counter and scintillation probes were on and in use the entire time. I estimate that my hands were exposed to as much as 2 uSv of gamma radiation at contact and that my entire body dose, aside from my hands, was about 0.1 uSv for the period of the work. This is only 2.5 times my normal background of 0.04 uSv/hr*
*Dose rates based upon the readings taken from a spectroscopic CsI(Tl) dosimeter which measures the actual photon energy from 33 keV to 3 MeV. Readings were NOT the result of a referenced source.