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Chapter: 4 Atomic and nuclear physics
    Section: 4.6 Radioactive elements
        SubSection: 4.6.3 Radioactive sources

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4.6.3   Radioactive sources

Sources of monoenergetic electrons

Beta-particle sources

Source

Half-life

Energy/keV

Source

Half-life

Radiation

End point/KeV

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

137Cs

30.2 yr

624

   14C

5730 yr

β

 156

 

 

656

    90Sr/90Y

28.8 yr

β

2281

207Bi

  32 yr

482

    3H

12.3 yr

β

   19

 

 

975

    22Na

2.60 yr

β+

 545

 

 

1048  

    58Co

70.8 d  

β+

 475

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Source

Half-life

Energy/keV

Intensity/%

Source

Half-life

Energy/KeV

Intensity/%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  Gamma-ray sources

 

 

  Low-energy photon sources

 

 

  22Na

2.60 yr

1274.5

99.9

  55Fe

  2.73 yr

5.9–6.5

28

  54Mn

312 d

  834.8

100.0  

  109Cd

  463 d

22–26

99

  56Co

77.3 d

  846.8

99.9

 

 

88

     3.6

 

 

1037.8

14.1

  241Am

  433 yr

   59.5

36

 

 

1175.1

  2.2

 

 

   26.3

     2.4

 

 

1238.3

66.1

 

 

 

 

 

 

1360.2

  4.3

  Alpha-particle sources

 

 

 

 

1771.4

15.5

  241Am

  433 yr

5486   

85

 

 

2015.2

  3.0

 

 

5443   

13

 

 

2034.8

  7.8

 

 

5388   

     1.4

 

 

2598.5

17.0

  244Cm

  18.1 yr

5805   

76

 

 

3202.0

  3.1

 

 

5763   

24

 

 

3253.4

  7.6

  239Pu

  2.41 × 104 yr

5157   

73

  60Co

5.27 yr

1173.2

99.9

 

 

5144   

15

 

 

1332.5

100.0  

 

 

5106   

   11.5

  88Y

107 d

  898.0

94.0

  210Pb/210Po

  22.3 yr

5304   

100  

 

 

1836.1

94.4

  212Pb/212Po

  10.6 hr

8785   

64

  137Cs

30.2 yr

  661.7

85.1

  212Pb/212Bi

  10.6 hr

6090   

   10.6

  207Bi

   32 yr

  569.7

97.7

 

 

6051   

25

 

 

1063.7

74.5

 

 

 

 

 

 

1770.2

  6.9

  Fission fragment source

 

 

  212Pb/208Tl

10.6 hr

  277.4

  2.5

  252Cf

  2.65 yr

 

 

 

 

  510.8

 

 

 

 

 

 

  583.2

31   

 

 

 

 

 

 

  860.6

 

 

 

 

 

 

 2614.5 

36   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


The sources listed in the table are a selection from the large number commercially available. Only the major radiations from each source are listed; 511 keV annihilation radiation generated by all β+ sources is omitted.

Where a pair of nuclides is listed (e.g. 90Sr/90Y), the former is the longer-lived precursor of the latter; the half-life listed is that of the former, while the radiations listed are emitted in the decay of the latter. The source 212Pb is obtained by collecting recoil products, the so-called ‘active deposit’, from thoron (220Rn) gas above a thorium source; it is valuable both as a source of alpha particles (from the decays of 212Bi and 212Po) and for the gamma-rays emitted by 208Tl.

In all cases where intensities are listed these give the number of emissions per 100 decays of the source (the precursor in the case of parent/daughter pairs).

Some extra information can be obtained from the table of nuclides (4.6.1) and the references therein. Reus and Westmeier (1983) list known gamma-rays (as of 1982) by energy and by nuclide.

References

U. Reus and W. Westmeier (1983) Atomic Data and Nuclear Data Tables, Vol. 29, sections 1 and 2.

D.J.Parker

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