Before you Start the Experiments

Possible Exceptions in Result:

  1. The household accessories used are mentioned in the experiments along with the brand. Using a different brand might affect the results.
  2. You may sometimes observe long streaks of muons along with other particles. They are completely random and are usually the result of cosmic showers. You will learn more about the particles in one of the experiments.
  3. The half-life of Po-210 is 138 days. Thus, you will observe change in radioactivity almost every semester.
  4. The background radiation might vary with location. For eg., many cities and towns in Colorado are at an elevation of 9000 ft and higher, where they will experience much more background radiation.

Warning for Sources

  1. Do not expose yourself directly to the radioactive sources. 
  2. Keep the sources in the box provided when not in use.
  3. Never touch the exposed Polonium-210.
  4. Never try to extract the radioactive material from discs.
  5. The guiding principle of radiation safety is “ALARA”. ALARA stands for “as low as reasonably achievable”. This principle means that even if it is a small dose, if receiving that dose has no direct benefit, you should try to avoid it. To do this, you can use three basic protective measures in radiation safety:

    Time:
    minimize time

    “Time” simply refers to the amount of time you spend near a radioactive source. Minimize your time near a radioactive source to only what it takes to get the job done. If you are in an area where radiation levels are elevated, complete your work as quickly as possible, and then leave the area. There is no reason to spend more time around it than necessary.

    Distance:
    maximize distance

    “Distance” refers to how close you are to a radioactive source.  Maximize your distance from a radioactive source as much as you can.  This is an easy way to protect yourself because distance and dose are inversely related.  If you increase your distance, you decrease your dose.

    Shielding:
    use shielding

    To shield yourself from a radiation source, you need to put something between you and the radiation source. The most effective shielding will depend on what kind of radiation the source is emitting. Some radionuclides emit more than one kind of radiation.

Warning for Camera (Detector)

  1. Do not touch or clean the sensor surface under any circumstances.
  2. Do not expose to water or moisture.
  3. Do not disassemble. The wire-bonding connection may be irreversibly damaged.
  4. Do not insert any object into the sensor window.
  5. The maximum USB cable length is 3m
  6. Mechanical damage to wire bonds is not covered by the warranty.

Disposal

Do not dispose of unsorted municipal waste. Please use a separate collection facility to contact the supplier from which the instrument was purchased. Please make sure discarded electrical waste is properly recycled to reduce environmental impact


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