Alpha Particles Interaction with Plastic Film


Stage, camera holder, source holder, polonium-210, plastic film (Saran wrap), Minipix-EDU


  1. Launch the Pixet Basic software and modify settings to the following:
    1. Min Level: 0
    2. Max Level: 100
    3. Measurement Mode: Tracking
    4. Frames: 1
    5. Exposure: 1 s
    6. Sum: uncheck
    7. Color Map: Hot
  2. Mount the MiniPix EDU camera and polonium on the stage.
  3. Keep the camera and the source as close as possible and click on the play button.
  4. Next, wrap the polonium disc in plastic film and collect the data again, as shown in figure 1.

    Figure 1. The polonium disc wrapped in a single layer of plastic film.


  1. Initially, we observe that the frame is full of alpha particle blobs as expected (Fig. 2).

    Figure 2. The observed alpha particles without anything between the camera and source

  2. The size of alpha particle blobs decreases when the plastic film is blocking the path of alpha particles (Fig. 3).

    Figure 3. The small-sized alpha particles blobs observed when a single layer of plastic film is blocking the path of alpha particles

  3. Ultimately, with 2 layers of foil, all the alpha particles are absorbed in the film and we do not observe any blobs.


  1. A single layer foil was neither thick nor dense enough to stop the alpha radiation.
  2. Although, two layers of foil absorbed all the energy of the alpha particles. But again we observe that the gamma photons were easily able to penetrate through.

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