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Topic: NEUTRON CAPTURE FUN!  (Read 28437 times)

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Offline Elgon

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Re:NEUTRON CAPTURE FUN!
« Reply #15 on: July 02, 2005, 06:48:33 PM »
It sould be safe, I'll pour a lead-lined concrete vault. Oh, and I did do the calculations; it would take approx. 1351.351351 Sd (smoke detectors, aka Microcuries) to get 1000 neutrons a second. And why are my materials not the best choices for this setup?

If I take Grejaks number of 35kBq per smoke detector, then your 1350 detectors would add up to about 1.3 milli-Curie of activity.  The customary limit for safe handling of actinide elements in a well ventilated fume hood is 10 mico-Curie.
That means you are already a factor of 130 above this limit, and I don’t assume you have a good fume hood in your basement.  How about a glove box?

These limits are there for a good reason. If a radioactive element emits an alpha particle, the remaining nucleus is pushed in the opposite direction.  This can mean that the radioactive element literally starts to wander around and can contaminate the surroundings. I have worked with high level activities of alpha emitters and I have seen it happen.  If you start messing with this much Am-241 there is a very good chance that you will contaminate the room you are working in and inhale some of it yourself.

I hate to say this, but this is a classic case of: Don't try this at home!

Offline Mitch

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Re:NEUTRON CAPTURE FUN!
« Reply #16 on: July 03, 2005, 02:35:02 PM »
Mr. Pink: How do you plan to get the Americium out of its enclosure?
« Last Edit: July 03, 2005, 02:39:01 PM by Mitch »
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arnyk

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Re:NEUTRON CAPTURE FUN!
« Reply #17 on: July 04, 2005, 07:21:58 PM »
I hope I'm not out of line, but I suppose he could simply "rip it out with his BARE hands", for lack of a better word. ;)

Offline Mitch

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Re:NEUTRON CAPTURE FUN!
« Reply #18 on: July 04, 2005, 08:21:46 PM »
Its less then a microgram in size, he won't be able to see it, thats the point.
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Mr. Pink

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Re:NEUTRON CAPTURE FUN!
« Reply #19 on: July 05, 2005, 03:25:25 PM »
If I take Grejaks number of 35kBq per smoke detector, then your 1350 detectors would add up to about 1.3 milli-Curie of activity.  The customary limit for safe handling of actinide elements in a well ventilated fume hood is 10 mico-Curie.
That means you are already a factor of 130 above this limit, and I don’t assume you have a good fume hood in your basement.  How about a glove box?

These limits are there for a good reason. If a radioactive element emits an alpha particle, the remaining nucleus is pushed in the opposite direction.  This can mean that the radioactive element literally starts to wander around and can contaminate the surroundings. I have worked with high level activities of alpha emitters and I have seen it happen.  If you start messing with this much Am-241 there is a very good chance that you will contaminate the room you are working in and inhale some of it yourself.

I hate to say this, but this is a classic case of: Don't try this at home!

(Magic words being in bold) I do have a glove box! Kevlar gloves and a half inch of Pyrex all around. My dad pumps it full of argon for specialized soldering.

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Re:NEUTRON CAPTURE FUN!
« Reply #20 on: July 05, 2005, 03:26:48 PM »
Its less then a microgram in size, he won't be able to see it, thats the point.

Well, the Am is in a gold matrix, and in salt form, not in a mettalic form. Its combined with a huge proportion of (I think) barium salts.

I might also try some cloud chamber experiments, and scinntilator-related experiements, most notably the experiement which led to the discovery of Neutrons in the first place.
« Last Edit: July 05, 2005, 03:29:00 PM by Mr. Pink »

Offline Elgon

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Re:NEUTRON CAPTURE FUN!
« Reply #21 on: July 05, 2005, 05:07:52 PM »
(Magic words being in bold) I do have a glove box! Kevlar gloves and a half inch of Pyrex all around. My dad pumps it full of argon for specialized soldering.

That might not be the kind of glove box that you need. Argon boxes are usually operated at a pressure above atmospheric pressure and allow for some argon to leak outside. They are designed to keep outside air from coming in. You actually want a well vented glove box connected to a HEPA filter system. The glove box has to be kept at a slightly lower pressure than its surroundings to make sure that no air or gas escapes from the box. Some outside air can come inside to ensure proper ventilation. Also, Kevlar gloves may not give you the necessary flexibility to work with your samples.
If you perform your experiments in this glove box, then your dad will not be able to use it for anything else anymore. It will be permanently contaminated. And how are you going to dispose of a contaminated box and the filter?

I would honestly suggest that you reconsider this experiment. You should be able to do the cloud chamber and scintillator experiments without having to disassemble any of the sources contained in the smoke detectors. So how about trying those instead?

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Re:NEUTRON CAPTURE FUN!
« Reply #22 on: July 05, 2005, 07:14:07 PM »
The kevlar is for protection from heat. And I'll try your thing, with the small amount of radiation and cloud chambers. Sounds fun.

kiwigene

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Re:NEUTRON CAPTURE FUN!
« Reply #23 on: July 19, 2005, 01:51:31 AM »
Mr. Pink, you are attempting to do Curie and Joliet's
experiment on "Artificial Radioactivity", correct?

http://www.dartmouth.edu/~physics/labs/p1/lab4.pdf

Mr. Pink

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Re:NEUTRON CAPTURE FUN!
« Reply #24 on: July 29, 2005, 12:48:32 AM »
Ya, but no, after realizing how little alpha source I have.

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