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X Ray Proportional Counter

The proportional counter is a type of gaseous ionization detector device used to measure particles of ionizing radiation. The key feature is its ability to measure the energy of incident radiation, by producing a detector output that is proportional to the radiation energy; hence the detector’s name. It is widely used where energy levels of incident radiation must be known, such …

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Analysis of a Fukushima Soil Sample

Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster  was an energy accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in Fukushima, initiated primarily by the tsunami following the Tōhoku earthquake on 11 March 2011. Immediately after the earthquake, the active reactors automatically shut down their sustained fission reactions. However, the tsunami disabled the emergency generators that would have provided power to control and operate …

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Gamma Activity Measures

The image above, taken from the Amptek site, shows some gamma spectra: uranium, thorium, background, …. Gamma spectrometry is a powerful technique for the analysis and identification of isotopes. With some caution you can also do quantitative analysis and measurements of activity. Even in this blog we have already tried …

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Measurement of Potassium Isotope K40 Activity

Isotope Potassium 40K As we know, bananas are rich in potassium! What maybe not everyone knows is that potassium in nature is present with three isotopes: 39K (93,3%), 40K (0,0117%) and 41K (6,7%), 40K potassium is unstable and decades in beta mode. This means that potassium present in nature, even that contained in bananas …

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Alpha Activity Measures

Equipment The apparatus has been already described in the post DIY Alpha Spectrometer. The picture below shows the measuring chamber with the alpha detector and the connection to the vacuum pump. There is also an electronic part (not shown in the picture) for the amplification and processing of the signal …

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Cesium 137 Activity in Contaminated Soil

A bit of History … On 26 April 1986, in Chernobyl, Ukraine, the most serious accident ever occurred in a nuclear power plant. For a series of events, partly caused by human errors, partly due to design shortcomings, the fusion of the reactor core occurred, followed by a very strong …

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X Ray Spectroscopy with PIN Photodiode

A PIN diode (p-type, intrinsic, n-type diode) is a diode with a wide region of intrinsic semiconductor material (undoped) contained between a p-type semiconductor and an n-type semiconductor. The advantage of a PIN diode is that the depletion region exists almost completely within the intrinsic region, which has a constant …

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Tunnel Effect

From Wikipedia : Quantum tunneling or tunneling refers to the quantum mechanical phenomenon where a particle tunnels through a barrier that it classically could not surmount. This plays an essential role in several physical phenomena, such as the alpha decay and the nuclear fusion that occurs in main sequence stars like the …

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Particles in the Mist

Which particles can be seen in the cloud chamber ? Since the principle of operation is based on the ionization caused by the passage of the particle, it results that the higher the ionization capacity and the greater the visibility of the trace. Alpha particles produce short and fairly wide …

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