Radiation findings from Southern CaliforniaNote: Due to the fact that I have never been to Southern California, I was unable to compare my findings to previous baseline data. Data obtained from other GM devices via RadiationNetwork.com was used to compare my results for normality. It must be stressed that my tests were limited in scope to a small area and a short five days of tests. Primarily, I was checking for gamma, a common result of isometric adjustment of atoms, including those who primarly produce alpha and beta radiation.
The Raw Radiation Data – For Raw Data Click Here
I traveled to sunny southern California this week on business but I didn’t forget my trusty Geiger Counter. As you might have noticed, I am a little sensitive about my Geiger Counter and didn’t know how the TSA would react to me bringing my toy on the airplane. Following advice I received from the TSA (I called them on the phone) I placed the Geiger Counter in the open where they could see it. This seemed to satisfy them. I found that I was kept so busy with work that I could not explore the countryside testing the plants and ground, as I had wished. Luckily, my Geiger Counter was able to run continuously during that time.
Upon entering my hotel room I quickly setup my systems and Geiger Counter to start reading. From Monday night until Friday morning I ran my Geiger Counter nearly continuously. From Monday, May 16, 2011 until Friday morning May 20, 2011 I logged a total of 3344 minutes of data. During this time I averaged 16 Counts Per Minute (herein CPM) greater than 90% of the time. 16 CPM is an ipso facto norm given the many months of data found on RadiationNetwork.com which show similar readings for similar elevations, in my case being approximately 400 feet above sea level.
I did note many interesting, but small, spikes during my stay. Most of these “spikes” were quite innocent in appearance, never exceeding double background. I do not normally see such spikes where I am used to checking, but the very shape of the Earth’s magnetic lines of force allows some places to experience interesting attenuation of radiation. I cannot rule out periodic and local terrestrial sources, given the nature of the area in where the tests were performed, e.g. a metastable radionuclide issuing gamma from a distance, occasionally bathing my tube.
As you can easily see, these spikes are perhaps happenstance of the naturally random nature of radiation and not sufficient to suggest anything more than mere interest.
During my time in California I did take a moment to run my testing equipment in the outside air and away from stone or other radioactive items. I tested the outside porch of my hotel room and found no prominent emitters. Given a lack of power and resources, I had to run the outside scan for a short time. The results were actually slightly lower than in the room, though a rain storm had just pasted and the area was still quite damp from pacific rain.
My next trek will include additional equipment, such as a 3” Geiger Pancake tube for higher sensitivity, contact contamination swipe tests, rock and dirt samples, rain samples, and an extension cord.