Did a few Gamma Specs today, here are the results.
The first one was an orange Fiestaware cup. I believe they colored it with Uranium-Oxide, which is what makes it radioactive. The results here show us that Thorium-234 and Uranium-235 are both certainly present.
Next I measured an ugly green cup I have, which was also colored with Uranium. Not sure if they used a unique mixture or what, but it’s darker in color (than most uranium glass) and doesn’t glow almost at all in a blacklight. Here we have Uranium-238 and Lead 214, a result of the radioactive decay of Uranium.
The third measurement I took was of a “quantum pendant.” These are necklaces that are sold with claims of wild health benefits, as well as the ability to block EMF radiation (electromagnetic frequency). None of these claims are true, and it should be illegal to sell these with such dishonest advertising. But, they’re radioactive, so I bought one. Here’s what they look like:
I sent one of these pendants to a friend in Sweden to do spectroscopy on it in an actual lab, and here are the results he gave me:
“K-40 44.2 Bq
Tl-208 85.2 Bq
Pb-212 279 Bq
Bi-214 34.5 Bq
Pb-214 40.1 Bq
Ac-228 247 Bq
Ra-226 66.6 Bq
Total: 799 Bq
Activity is not measured per mass but per necklace so consider the value absolute, standard deviation is less than 4.4% for all nuclides except K-40 and Ra-226.”
And my results, with just a 10 minute home spec, confirmed Pb-212, Ra-226, Tl-208, and I think Ac-228 and Pb-214, though I’m not 100% on those two yet (waiting for a more experienced friend to message me back about that). Here’s the graph:
And the last spec I did today was on a Thorium lantern mantle. The graph showed Pb-212 at two different energies, but no other isotopes. Not sure yet if that’s operator error on my part or something else (like maybe those are the only decay daughters left that give off gamma radiation?). Here’s the graph:
That’s all for today, still working on fine-tuning my setup but I have plenty of sources to work with, so there will be plenty more of these coming soon!