Tag Archives: beta

Statistically Valid Detections

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The basic idea comes from z-score * sqrt(2*background)

Basic Isotope Identification (Gamma Spectroscopy)

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Please read below (Resource links, etc)

Copyright:
All materials in this video are copyright of me. I created them all. The screen captures of the software are from Spectrum Techniques.

My Equipment:

Spectrometer: UCS30 – http://www.spectrumtechniques.com/spec_systems.htm
Sources: Cs137 – http://www.spectrumtechniques.com/disc&laminated_sources.htm
Lead: rotometals.com

Gamma Energy Resources:

http://ie.lbl.gov/decay.html
http://ie.lbl.gov/toi/radSearch.asp
http://simplynuclear.com/index.php?title=Common_Gamma_Energy

Thorium Hypothesis
Isotope Energy Branching Ratio
Actinium 228 13 keV 0.38
Thorium 232 *63.81 keV 0.00267
Lead 212 *77.11 keV 0.175
Thorium 228 84.37 keV 0.01266
Thorium 228 131.61 keV 0.001355
Thorium 228 166.41 keV 0.001075
Thorium 228 215.99 keV 0.00263
Lead 212 238.63 keV 0.433
Actinium 228 *338.32 keV 0.113
Thallium 208 510.77 keV 0.226
Thallium 208 *583.19 keV 0.845
Bismuth 212 727.33 keV 0.0658
Actinium 228 911.21 keV 0.266
Actinium 228 968.97 keV 0.162

Uranium Hypothesis
Isotope Energy Branching Ratio
Uranium 238 13 keV 0.08
Uranium 235 19.59 keV 0.61
Lead 210 46.54 keV 0.0425
Lead 214 77.11 keV 0.099
Thorium 234 92.38 keV 0.028
Thorium 234 92.8 keV 0.028
Uranium 235 143.76 keV 0.1096
Uranium 235 185.71 keV 0.572
Radium 226 *186.1 keV 0.35
Thorium 227 235.97 keV 0.123
Lead 214 *241.98 keV 0.075
Lead 214 *295.21 keV 0.185
Lead 214 *351.92 keV 0.358
Bismuth 211 404.85 keV 0.0378
Bismuth 214 *609.31 keV 0.448
Bismuth 214 768.36 keV 0.048
Protactinium 234m 1001.03 keV 0.00370

Potassium 40 Hypothesis
Isotope Energy Branching Ratio
Potassium 40 *1461 keV 0.1067

Depleted Uranium Hypothesis
Isotope Energy Branching Ratio
Thorium 234 13.3 keV 0.045
Thorium 234 *63.29 keV 0.048
Thorium 234 *92.38 keV 0.028
Thorium 234 *92.8 keV 0.028
Uranium 235 19.59 keV 0.61
Uranium 235 *143.76 keV 0.1096
Uranium 235 185.71 keV 0.572
Protactinium 234m 1001.03 keV 0.00370

☢ Radioactive Cobalt 60 ☢

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Detector Used:
http://www.spectrumtechniques.com/ucs30.htm

Sources Used:
http://www.spectrumtechniques.com/disc&laminated_sources.htm

Primary Gamma Energies:

1173.24 keV (99.9736%)
1332.5 keV (99.9856%)

Beta Energies (Max/avg):

317.9 keV / 95.8 keV (99.99925%)
1491.1 keV / 625.9 keV (0.00057%)
664.8 keV / 274.9 keV (0.00011%)

Cobalt 60 decays to Nickle 60 via Beta minus decay

Links
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cobalt-60
http://www.epa.gov/radiation/radionuclides/cobalt.html

[Energy Data]
http://ie.lbl.gov/toi/nuclide.asp?iZA=270060

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On a recent business trip, I found an airplane at an airplane museum with what appears to be DU. This is not uncommon in airplanes.

Peaks found:
Thorium 234 63.29 keV
Thorium 234 92.38 keV
Thorium 234 92.8 keV
Protactinium 234m 766.36 keV
Protactinium 234m 1001.03 keV

Half Lives of Detected Isotopes (secular equillibrium with U238):
Thorium 234 t0.5 = 24.1 Days
Protactinium 234m t0.5 = 70.2 seconds

Unknown peaks (likely from natural uranium present in the concrete below the aircraft)
162.5 keV Unknown
176.3 keV (186.1 keV) – Possibly from Ra226
231.5 keV (241.98 keV) – Possibly from Pb214
307.3 keV (295.21 keV) – Possibly from Pb214
355.6 keV (351.92 keV) – Possibly from Pb214

Radiation at Six Miles Up!!! – Gamma Spectroscopy in an Airplane!

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I noticed that at ground level, the dose rate was 1 or 2 uSv/hr, but after take off it dropped!!! From 1000 feet (eyeballed) to about 5,000 feet it read 0 uSv/hr on the Poli (1 or 2 CPS, max!). This was due to being too far from the ground radiation (NORM), but too low to pick up lots of background cosmic rays.

My Polimaster misses most cosmic rays and mostly picks up mostly uranium, thorium, potassium, and bremsstrahlung radiation. Neat!

By the time I hit about 15,000 feet the dose rate was rising again. By 33,000 feet the dose rate was at its peak of about 0.5 uSv/hr. I know from the spectrum that most of my dose was from high energy particles. This means my Poli misses most of this dose. lol

Ironically, the plane was probably the source of most of my low level energy dose due to high energy particles striking the hull.

As for the x-ray machine, what could I do? I told the TSA guy what the detector was and he just stared at me… so oh well lol