Tag Archives: glass

Radioactive Fiesta® Ware – Happy Cinco de Mayo!!!

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Fiesta® Ware – Cinco de Mayo!!!

It’s the fifth of may and everyone is celebrating the French receiving some sort of “beat down” by the Mexicans. Sounds like a party, but why not make it a Fiesta!?

I thought it a good time to find and buy a Fiesta® Ware plate of my very own.

Fredericksburg Virginia, close to me, has dozens of antique shops. Most antique shops I have visited in the United States are literally full of hundreds of pieces of uranium glassware and uranium ceramics.

How much uranium is in one of my local stores? Let’s do some “ball park” guess work. =)
I have read that glazes for (this is a touch anecdotal) ceramics, like Fiesta® Ware contained about 10-12% uranium by mass, while depression glassware contains about 2%. If I suppose that a normal antique shop has about five pieces of Fiesta® Ware at 50g’s of glaze each and 50 pieces of depression glassware at about 150grams each… we would get:

5pieces (50g)0.12 + 50 pieces(150g)0.02 = 180g of uranium =) That’s 6.3 ounces…

Of course, this is merely a guess.

Anyhow, the piece I purchased (for a mere $20) is quit lovely, behind lead, and old too. The gamma spectrum I detected showed a much greater U-235 peak at 185.71 keV and 143.76 keV than I would have expected for natural uranium. Also, the equilibrium of Pa-234m is low but growing faster than my DU marbles… I would have to call this processed natural uranium oxide. I would guess that my does is somewhere between 2-8 mR/hr at contact, which is why I keep the plate far away and behind lead. =)

Data from: http://pbadupws.nrc.gov/docs/ML0829/ML082910862.pdf
and http://www.orau.org/ptp/collection/consumer%20products/fiesta.htm

Beta Radiation, Geiger Counters 101 Part Three

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Beta radiation was first detected over 100 years ago. Beta radiation is the ejection of energetic electrons and anti-electrons (called positrons) from an atom. These electrons and positrons are moving with incredible force. They smash into our bodies and may cause harm. Beta radiation is one of the largest sources of radiation humans are exposed to.

You Eat This Each Day!!!

This atom is Potassium-40, a radioactive version of the Potassium you and I eat each day in our bananas and vitamins. When you eat light salt or Potassium salt, you are eating Potassium Chloride, mostly, which contains small amounts of K-40, radioactive Potassium! Yum!

Beta radiation is stopped by thin metal easily, a sheet of aluminum being the most often cited method.

Three more videos are coming!
Gamma and X-Ray Radiation, Geiger Counters 101 Part Four
Radiation Math, Geiger Counters 101 Part Five

Important Websites:
Anti-Proton.com
GeigerCounters.com
RadiationNetwork.com
Medcom.com
Seintl.com

Converting CPM to uSv/hr, Plus Calibration

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You CANNOT use micro sieverts per hour (uSv/hr), MREM/hr, mR/hr, or any other such energy-based unit with a Geiger counter without first knowing the exact energy of the object you are testing. With this knowledge, you can calculate your equivalent dose from exposure, or even calibrate your Geiger counter to do it for you.

NOTE: The math I use was created by me, but is widely used in science, and not new. DO NOT USE the techniques or math I show you for anything you really need to be 100% sure of. This is for fun and there are many additional variables I did not calculate.

USE AT OWN RISK
This is only an approximate means.

The real method for finding the energy of a given isotope is to use a scintillator to measure the energy emitted by the sample. If you REALLY must use a Geiger counter, you might try something like this:

Sv/hr = E(joules) * A(Bq) * 3600s * Wr * H * (100-(r/(ρ cm^3/CSDA cm^2)))/kg Hr
Where:
E = energy per Bq in joules
A = activity in Bq
3600s = 60seconds x 60min
Wr = weighting factor of radiation. Gamma and Beta=1, Alpha=20
H = weighting factor of body part. Use 1 for entire body
/kg Hr = the entire effective energy is divided per kilogram, and per hour.
The last part calculates the change in energy of particle with respect to position within a medium. ρ is the density of air. dE/dx, basically.

Watch the video to see in detail.