Determination of the relation between the half-lives and alpha-particle energies of the emanations of urananite. The energies of alpha particles emitted by the radioactive emanations of the mineral urananite and their decay products are measured with a solid state detector. Next, radon, milked from the urananite and adsorbed on charcoal, is extracted with liquid scintillator and counted in a scintillation counter.
The rates of the various alpha particle decay processes of radon and its daughter nuclei are then measured as functions of time, and the mean lives of the various nuclei are deduced from the data according to the Bateman equations. The relation between the measured mean lives and the decay energies is compared with the theoretical relation derived according to the quantum mechanical tunneling theory of alpha decay. Finally, the range-energy relation of alpha particles is determined from a measurement of the residual energies of alpha particles as a function of the thickness of air traversed.
Lab Guide (PDF)
The solid state detector. (Image courtesy of Junior Lab staff.)
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Table of Isotopes - Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory
Table of Nuclides - Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute