Radioactive Source

does anyone have Americium from the old smoke detectors or another Alpha Source?

I have some sources but I’ll need to locate them as they are stored away…somewhere. If I can put my hands on them quickly, I’ll let you know.

If anyone else has a hookup, please give a shout, it’s possible mine are tricky to get to up in the attic!

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I have an NRO Staticmaster (1U400) source with a certificate that you are welcome to. https://www.statictek.com/shop/staticmaster-1u400/

Looking at the price I’m glad it was given to me. I can’t make it to DMS before tomorrow.

Russell Ward

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Are you sure didn’t mean ‘Muricium?

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hello sir, I’m not sure what this is, but im looking for small radioactive sources esp Alpha.

It is “measuring only 1.02″ x .93″ x .24″ thick.” and is an alpha emitter.
Model P-2042 Specifications

  • ISOTOPE: Polonium-210
  • MATERIAL: Stainless steel housing, aluminum grid
  • EMISSION: Alpha
  • ACTIVITY: 500 µCi
  • Weight: 0.4 oz. (11.3g)
  • OPTIMUM RANGE: 0.5″ to 1.5″

Russell Ward

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Thank you sir, I dont really know what that is, some kind of ionizer or is it like a discrete part for a smoke detector? Thank you for your kind donation!

If you go to the website https://www.statictek.com/shop/staticmaster-1u400/ they have the complete specs. This is a picture of the item. It is used as an ionizer that is used to remove static electricity in precision lab scales and such.

image
It is 1" square and 1/4" thick - smaller than the picture.

Russell Ward

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Problem with the polonium-210 staticmasters is their very short half-life of less than a year.

When was this unit manufactured?

I have had it for 2 or 3 years. I don’t see any date on it or the paper work with it. It may be weak because it caused the paper to turn brown in one spot but it didn’t turn the paper brown when I put it in its box next to a different spot on the paper the last time I put it in the box a couple of years ago.

Russell Ward

Polonium-210 has a half-life of approx 138 days.

Assuming best case of 2 years that’s a little over 5 half lives, which would make it at a tad over 3% of the original source remaining.

They’re still cool pieces of gear to show household uses of radioactive materials.

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So what’s interesting about this source is it lists a stainless housing with an aluminum grid window.

One alpha particle interacts with aluminum to transmute to one P-30 atom and release a free neutron. I would normally expect this to use a thin gold window or something else.

From the description on the website -
Note on Ion Source

All NRD ion sources are encapsulated in precious metals by means of a patented process. This results in a static eliminator which resists oxidation, solvents, heat, cold and vibration.

This has a precious metal (gold?) coating. It sounds like it maybe for other reasons, or not.

Russell Ward

While I see @Josh_Melnick as a consummate professional and always concerned about safety, the request and reference to smoke detectors brings to mind the Radioactive Boy Scout.

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And A young Sheldon Cooper.

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