Demonstration of Polonium Activity


Stage, camera holder, source holder, polonium-210, Minipix-EDU


  1. Launch the Pixet Basic software and modify settings to the following:
    1. Min Level: 0
    2. Max Level: 50
    3. Measurement Mode: Tracking
    4. Frames: 100
    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 approximately 2 cm away and click on the play button.


  1. We observe two different types of tracks, as shown in figure 1.

    Figure 1. The alpha particle blobs and some gamma photons

  2. We have an abundance of blobs of alpha particles and some pixels of gamma particles.
  3. Polonium does not emit any beta radiation but sometimes the background radiation can result in some beta tracks as well.


  1. We observe large alpha particle blobs and the energy absorbed is also relatively higher (3000 keV to 4000 keV) compared to other sources that we will see in upcoming experiments.
  2. The energy of small tracks of gamma particles usually does not exceed 20 keV.

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