Detection of Radioactive Radiation with Homemade Devices

Felix Giepmann, Christian Plötzing, Wenzel Schoroth

We set ourselves the goal of detecting radioactive radiation with homemade low cost devices.

We developed several detection devices that we built ourselves. The effects of radioactive radiation can be seen directly with the spinthariscope, the CCD camera and the cloud chamber, while it can be measured using the ionization chamber. We got particularly interesting results with our semiconductor detector, which motivated further study. We wrote a program that can count pulses and sort them by intensity. Due to its easy availability in most computers and its low cost, we used a sound card to count pulses, rather than the electronics that would usually be used for this.

However, the core of our project is our homemade cloud chamber that we run with dry ice. Condensation visualizes the tracks of α particles that are emitted by a gas mantle inside the cloud chamber.

cloud chamber
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