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Radiation Detected!

Adventures In Scintillating 9/2/09
September 3rd, 2009 9:19 AM
I have begun to use my new scintillator.
In my home I have found that several of my coffee cups and dishes are ever so slightly radioactive.  background is roughly 100 cps, several cups that I have tested show about 120 cps several millimeters from the probe face.  However, I must stress that this is with uncalibrated equipment, so everything is relative.
I have also found that the PM1703m is much better at detecting low energy x-rays than the scintillator,  since the CRT TVs will read on the PM1703m, but not on the Alpha Spectrum probe.  Maybe this is caused by the aluminum blocking low energy x-rays, while low energy x-rays easily penetrate the plastic case of the PM1703m?  More testing and experimenting will be necessary. 
I did take the probe and meter outside the house tonight, about 7:30 PM CST, and had some interesting results.  What was expected was a drop in counts, since my house is made of brick, and when I went outside the count almost doubled to 200 CPS!  I went back in, and the count dropped down to 100 CPS.  Was the roof shielding me?  I went back outside and walked out towards the street, the count went up, then when I reached the street it dropped again down to a little below 100 CPS. By the way, I didn't really worry too much about neighbors seeing me.  It is Wednesday, and many of them where possibly at church.  Walking back onto my lawn, the count went up, then I stepped onto my driveway, the count dropped.  I walked across the driveway to the grass on the other side, and the count went up again to around 200 CPS.  At this point I am not sure if it is the soil, or use of phosphate fertilizer, or the clay.  I guess I could test this theory by testing grass clippings, and soil samples from progressively deeper levels.
I originally thought that I may mount the probe under the hood of my Explorer, and the Meter would be in my center console, however, a less permanent system might be more fun.  

Posted in:General
Posted by Chris Cavanaugh on September 3rd, 2009 9:19 AMPost a Comment

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