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School experiments in radiation detection

Using the RadAngel for physics experiments in schools

This is a conference paper by Miroslav Vanek of the Technical University in Zvolen, Slovenia, called “Basic parameters of gamma spectrometry system based on CZT crystals and its use in school didactic experiments.” Or to put in simply: how good is the RadAngel for school experiments in radiation detection. The paper deals in detail with the basic characteristics of the RadAngel for school experiments.

A note on the name of the RadAngel used in the paper

At the time that the paper was written, we had a version of the RadAngel called the RadAngel for School. We no longer use that name but the device and software are the same we simply call it the RadAngel. Our KSpect gamma spectroscopy software has been updated to make it easier to use.

The abstract

Spectrometer RadAngel (RA4STM) from Kromek Group plc. is equipped with a 5 x 5 x 5 mm CZT detector, compact design (90 mm x 55 mm x 25 mm), small weight (135 g), integrated electronics with USB connection to PC and basic spectrometric software. The manufacturer declares an energy resolution of <3.5% FWHM for 662 keV and energy range of 40 – 1500 keV with spectrum size of 4096 channels. Due to the absence of detector efficiency data, we focused on the determination of the peak efficiency (full energy peak efficiency) for the declared energy range and determination of energy resolution (FWHM) as a function of peak energy. The results show that RA4S exceeds the manufacturer’s declared values in several parameters.

We present the sample spectra measured using the KCl sample as well as the spectrum of calibration standard in the Marinelli beaker geometry used for energy, FWHM and efficiency calibration. Peak efficiency values are relatively low, which is in agreement with expectations due to the small effective volume of the detector. Finally, there are several suggestions for school experiments using the features of the device described.

The full paper is viewable at this link:

"Its greatest advantages are a reasonable price, good energy resolution, compact size and simplicity of use."

Miroslav Vanek, Technical University in Zvolen

Planning a class on radiation

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