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Beta Identification

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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?

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Answer:

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).

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