Beta spectrometry problem, path of emmited particle

In summary: This is definitely strange. With a solenoidal beta-ray spectrometer, the beta particles are deflected in circular arcs in the transverse (azimuthal) plane. When the field is turned off, the electrons that are traveling towards the detector just hit the pig, as you describe, and the ones that miss the pig just hit the inside walls of the chamber, since there is no field to deflect them back towards the detector. We then turn the field on and sweep it through a range of field strengths, and measure the counts you get at each step, and from this reconstruct the momentum distribution of the source electrons.When you say the counts at ~0 gauss are comparable to the counts with the field
  • #1
derivX
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Hi guys this is my first post since I've joined, so be nice!

I've been playing around with a short lens spectrometer at uni, using a strontium-90 beta source. It basically consists of a long steel tube with the source housed at one end, and a solid state detector at the other, mid way there is a magnetic coil to generate the lens used to accelerate the beta paricles. There is an overall length from source to detector of 1.5m, and the tube has a radius of just over 10cm. placed dead centre of the tube is a mass of lead or a "lead-pig" as we call it, which absorbs gamma rays. the detector is connected to an amplifier, which is connected to a counter. I'm attempting to collect data to generate a kurie plot.

When accelerated, the beta particle's trajectory is bent around the lead pig, and hits the detector,
but when there is no magnetic field present, there is no acceleration of the beta particles...

In that case would I be right to assume that they would (generally) suffer a similar fate to the gamma rays, and be absorbed by the lead pig? in experiment, they do not appear to they still seem to curve around the pig, and hit the detector, and register as a count.

the amount of counts at ~0 gauss is comparable to counts with the field on. I am quite puzzed as to how explain this occurence.

now just to clarify, I ran a few tests with no source, and the system registered zero counts, so i don't believe there is any problems with the system. also the spectrometer makes use of three lead sheets, or baffles, that fillter out lower energy particles from the test. these do not seem to have any bearing on the problem.
(however thay have been the root of some other unrelated problems :/)..

does anyone have any idea how to explain this path of beta particles? i wouldn't imagine that the ssd id detecting scattered particles, but i could be wrong...

What do you think? any similar findings or stories?
 
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  • #2
Well, I can't say I understand what your machine is doing, but the one we have in our teaching lab doesn't do anything weird like that. When the field is off, the electrons that are traveling towards the detector just hit the pig, as you describe, and the ones that miss the pig just hit the inside walls of the chamber, since there is no field to deflect them back towards the detector. We then turn the field on and sweep it through a range of field strengths, and measure the counts you get at each step, and from this reconstruct the momentum distribution of the source electrons.

When you say the counts at ~0 gauss are comparable to the counts with the field on, at what field strength is this? Does it matter? If you get no variation with field strength then something odd is going on, unless your spectrometer works somewhat differently to ours.
 
  • #3
This spectrometer is called a solenoidal beta-ray spectrometer. Using a lead plug in the center and lead baffles elsewhere is a common feature. Many articles were written between 1948 to 1960. The solenoidal magnetic lens does not accelerate (increase energy of) the betas, but instead deflects them in circular arcs in the transverse (azimuthal) plane. The focused betas go through 2π radians from source to detector, ending up on the axis of the spectrometer.
 
  • #4
Thanks for the replies, sorry for leaving it so long to get back to you.

You're right, it is a solenoidal beta-ray spectrometer.

Kurros, with the field at zero, i.e. no current flowing through the solenoid, you can get detect of the order of 700 counts over 180 seconds. At a Field strength of around 47mT you can achieve a similar value. as i mentioned before, I have tested the system without a source, and there were no counts (thankfully :P) now, I did determine, that the detector will count photons, (which is due to a flaw in the amplifier), so can the beta particles that deflect off the walls of the spectrometer, can they cause the emmision of photons? ( I doubt that would explain such a high count)

another strange thing i noticed with these early high counts, the counts lower as the field strength goes up, until about 35 to 39 mT where the rest of the count values seem to behave in accordance with expectations.

Thanks.
 

Related to Beta spectrometry problem, path of emmited particle

1. What is beta spectrometry?

Beta spectrometry is a scientific technique used to measure the energy and intensity of beta particles emitted by radioactive materials.

2. How does beta spectrometry work?

In beta spectrometry, the emitted beta particles are directed through a magnetic field, causing them to follow a curved path. The degree of curvature is dependent on the energy of the particles, allowing for their energy to be measured.

3. What is the path of the emitted particle in beta spectrometry?

The path of the emitted particle in beta spectrometry is a curved path due to the presence of a magnetic field. The degree of curvature depends on the energy of the particle.

4. What types of particles can be detected using beta spectrometry?

Beta spectrometry is primarily used to detect beta particles, which are high-energy electrons or positrons emitted by radioactive materials. However, it can also detect other types of particles such as alpha particles and gamma rays.

5. What are the applications of beta spectrometry?

Beta spectrometry has a wide range of applications in various fields such as nuclear physics, environmental monitoring, and medical research. It is commonly used to measure the levels of radioactivity in samples, as well as to study the properties of different radioactive materials.

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