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Gold Leaf Thickness with Alpha Spectrometry

With the knowledge of the theory of the interaction of alpha particles with matter it is possible to measure with precision the thickness of a very thin gold foil. In this experiment the principal concern will be the specific ionization and rate of energy loss, dE/dx, of an alpha particle …

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Some Alpha and Beta Spectra

With the help of the spectrometer for alpha particles, described in the post DIY Alpha Spectrometer, we looked at some isotopes and radioactive substances. The main difficulty of the alpha spectroscopy is the preparation of the source: to obtain net lines and good resolutions it is necessary that the active …

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DIY Alpha Spectrometer

Alpha Spectrometry is a fascinating technique because it allows you to have accurate information about the radioactive decay of heavy nuclei and about the physics of the interaction of charged particles with matter. But this is a rather difficult technique, even more difficult than gamma spectrometry. The difficulties of this technique lie …

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Speed of Electromagnetic Signal

The speed of light in vacuum, commonly denoted by c, is independent of the relative speed of the observer and the source of the radiation and therefore assumes the role of universal constant of physics, such as the gravitational constant G, the electron charge, its mass etc. According to current …

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Shot Noise and Electron Charge

The shot noise or granular noise is the electronic noise due to the “corpuscular” nature of the charge. The first study on the shot noise was done by W. Schottky in 1918 examining the elementary fluctuations of the current in vacuum tubes (diodes, triode, etc.). This type of noise is …

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Johnson Noise, Boltzmann Constant and Brownian Motion

When designing and building an electronic apparatus, especially when it is necessary to acquire and process weak signals, generally one follows all precautions in order to eliminate or at least reduce the electronic noise as much as possible in order to maximize the signal – noise ratio (S / N). …

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Broadband Amplifier for PMT and SiPM

We describe, in this post, the use of a MMIC device (Monolithic Microwave Integrated Circuit) as the front-end electronics for the amplification of the signals generated by a photomultiplier. This type of device has the advantage of offering a very wide bandwidth (up to 2 GHz in our case), low …

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Muon Lifetime with PSoC

” … The muon—the short-lived cousin of the electron—could be the key to understanding relationships between other fundamental particles. And it holds a mystery all its own. In the 1930s, scientists thought they had matter figured out. Matter was atoms; atoms were protons, neutrons and electrons; and that was that. Then they discovered the …

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Ramsauer-Townsend Effect

In this post we describe a particular characteristic curve of a vacuum tube that allows to estimate the size of an atom of a noble gas. The Ramsauer – Townsend effect consists in the reduction of the cross section when electrons with around 1 eV energy collide atoms of inert gases …

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PSoC Coincidence Detector – III

We continue the series of posts about PSoC describing the application of the coincidence detection circuit  to the case of cosmic rays. These have been treated in numerous articles and so here we simply expose the results we obtained using the PSoC-based coincidence detector. The system has been connected to two SiPM detectors …

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PSoC Coincidence Detector – II

We continue the post “PSoC Coincidence Detector – I” describing the application of the coincidence detector system for the detection of radiation produced by the decay of isotope Na22. This topic has already been addressed in the following previous post : Positron Annihilation Entangled Gamma Photons For full details about positron and entanglement …

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PSoC Coincidence Detector – I

In this post we describe an application of PSoC component having the aim to realize a high-precision coincidence detection circuit  to be applied in the detection of nuclear signals. PSoC (Programmable System-on-Chip) is a family of microcontroller integrated circuits by Cypress Semiconductor. These chips include aCPU core and mixed-signal arrays of …

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“Punta Ekar” Telescope

In this post we describe our visit to the telescope of Ekar peak in Asiago : 182cm main mirror, the largest on the Italian territory. The telescope is located at Ekar peak (about 1400 mslm) near the town of Asiago but away from artificial light sources. In the picture below …

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Porphyrins : the Colors of Life

Porphyrins are a group of heterocyclic macrocycle organic compounds, composed of four modified pyrrole subunits interconnected at their α carbon atoms via methine bridges (=CH−). The parent porphyrin is porphin, and substituted porphines are called porphyrins. The porphyrin ring structure is aromatic, with a total of 26 electrons in the …

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Photon Counting

The corpuscular nature of the light can be detected by means of the photon counting technique, realized with a photomultiplier tube. The “photon counting” technique has already been described in the post Light as a Particle, in which we used a special photon counter and a pulsed light source. In this …

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