Tag Archives: x-ray

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

Collecting Uranium

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!!!The most important aspects of safety!!!

Key things to reduce exposure:
1. Shielding
2. Time (of exposure)
3. Distance

Key things to keep safe:
1. Minimize exposure if possible.
2. Always wash hands and wear gloves.
3. Never allow inhalation or ingestion of dust from samples.
4. Keep samples away from children (anyone, actually) and only bring
5. Never store samples under your bed (not sure why they do, but apparently people do this lol)

Good books:
Introduction to Radioactive Minerals – Robert Lauf

Places to buy uranium:

(eBay and Amazon have some too, but be careful!)

Places to get equipment:


Places to get a Geiger counter (including recommended models):

Model 3 + 44-9 Pancake Probe – Ludlums.com
Inspector – GeigerCounters.com
PRM9000 – GeigerCounters.com
CDV700 – VArious places (careful of bad units… may need repair and claibration)

Spectrum Techniques Universal Computer Spectrometer UCS30 – A Review and Overview

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A nice little unit, the UCS30 comes with 512, 1024, 2048, or 4096 channels. The unit has a built-in high voltage source and a pre-amplifier.

There are many great and wonderful scientific devices which we can obtain and use to understand our world. The most important things we can do in our lives are to learn all that we can and teach as much as possible to all who will listen.

The unit can be seen at http://spectrumtechniques.com/

Oh… and no, they didn’t ask or pay me to show off their unit. Unfortunately, I had to buy the unit myself 🙂

A Demonstration of Nuclear Radiation

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A quick demonstration of nuclear radiation. Just for fun and maybe even a little education. =)

7 Days Later – My Radiation Dose for Seven Days

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And so it came to pass…

I wore my Polimaster 1703MO-1B gamma spectroscopic dosimeter for seven days to find out what my dose was. Of course, I only detected photon radiation from 40 keV to 3.5 MeV, and only external sources.

My total dose was 14.52 uSv

Which wokrs out to:
2.07 uSv / day

0.0864 uSv/hr

757.11 uSv/year

I estimate that my actual dose is much greater, at perhaps 2.523 mSv, but that is based on supposition and no actual hard evidence. 🙂

To see my actual measurements, download the full data from: