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.
Gamma Spectroscopy is the identification of radioactive isotopes based on the gamma radiation energies emitted by a source. As a home gamma spectrometry hobbyist, I use radioactive sources such as vaseline glass (colored using Uranium), orange Fiestaware (colored with Uranium oxide), Radium-painted watches and clocks, Thorium lantern mantles, and even Uranium ore samples. Most of these are examples of common household items that emit radiation, and I find many of these items at antique stores (most of these things made today do not contain radioactive elements). Continue Reading