Radiation Detection

Dangerous laboratories is involved in experiments involving naturally occuring minerals and
LICENSE EXEMPT quantities of radioactive materials only!
All experiments meet NRC (C.F.R. 40.13) requirements.

Radiation is all around us! Cosmic rays are constantly bombarding the earth, turning good old fashioned nitrogen into radioactive carbon-14! The carbon-14 turns to carbon dioxide immediately and is absorbed by plants and other living things.

14N + n => 14C + p
(n=neutron, p=proton)

Many things around us give off radiation including rocks and minerals and even some products that we buy.

A geiger counter is a device that detects invisible atomic particles (alpha and beta particles) and gamma radiation.
It is extremely useful for any experiments involving radiation.

This is a Ludlum Measurements Model 3 survey meter with a model 44-7 end window Geiger-Muller tube.
This is a very dependable and sensitive unit.
If you are interested in something a bit more compact and less expensive, you can get a pocket geiger counter such as This RDX Nuclear model.

This should cost from $200-$240 depending on where you get it. We prefer Edmund Scientific

Once you have your meter, you are going to want to get something to test. Your local hardware store might have an "Aladdin Lamp" mantle. This is for use in a kerosene lamp and is made of radioactive thorium.
It may be possible to buy some radioactive minerals from your local rock shop, or from online sources such as the Mineral Galleries. Look for Torbernite, Carnotite, Autunite, Uraninite, Monazite, Pitchblende, etc.
Radioactive Glassware and Pottery with uranium-containing glazes are found at most antique stores.
You can also find these minerals yourself!
For details, see the Uranium Page!
Another way to detect certain types of radiation is with a Cloud Chamber
Some other household items are radioactive, too. Some smoke detectors contain americium-241, and some old watches and clocks (1950's and before) have radium-lit dials .
You can also purchase many different safe and legal isotopes from Spectrum Techniques

Here are polonium-210, cobalt-60, strotium-90, and cesium-137.

Why not go Nuclear Fishin' ?
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