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Beta Identification

You are a health physicist and you find an unknown contaminant that proves to be a pure beta emitter. To try to identify the contaminant, you attempt to determine the maximum energy of the beta rays. You use a GM tube with a thin (0.1 mm, ?=2.7 g/cm^3) end window. You find that 1.74 mm stops all of the beta particles. The distance between the sample and the counter is 2 cm.

a. What is the energy of the beta particle?
b. What do you think the contaminant is?

Solution Preview


a.) Range used for the Absorption of beta rays on the GM tube = Density* Distance = 2.7*0.174= 0.47 g/cm^2
Range = 0.47 ...

Solution Summary

The solution includes calculations for the energy of a beta particle as well as the process involving finding an unknown contaminant (which is a pure beta emitter).