Measuring Background Radiation
Stage, camera holder, Minipix-EDU
- Launch the Pixet Basic software and modify settings to the following:
- Min Level: 0
- Max Level: 100
- Measurement Mode: Tracking
- Frames: 1800
- Exposure: 1 s
- Sum: check
- Color Map: Hot
- Mount the MiniPix EDU camera on the stage and click on the play button.
- Since background radiation is the measure of ionizing radiation in the environment, thus we do not need the radiation source.
- Usually, we will observe the beta and gamma radiation but sometimes alpha particles might also be observed (Fig. 1).
Figure 1. The background radiation collected during 10 minutes scan
- The more frames you collect, the better is the chance of spotting rare background radiation like muons and alpha particles.
- We are always exposed to radiation from surroundings and they are not always harmful.
- Most of the background radiation comes from radon gas which is formed naturally when radioactive metals, like uranium, thorium, or radium, break down.
- These metals are present in rocks, soil, and groundwater. We are exposed to radon primarily by breathing it in.