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Helium Detection Measurement

  1. Jan 30, 2014 #1
    Can someone recommend (if possible) a way to detect the amount of helium in a given enclosed space? I'm designing an experiment in which I will need to measure the amount in an otherwise vacuum.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 30, 2014 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    If helium is the only thing in the container, why not just measure the pressure?
  4. Jan 30, 2014 #3


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    Science Advisor

    How to detect the amount depends on the quality of the vacuum and the level of helium in that volume.

    Normal Helium mass spectrometer/RGA leak detection methods will work and can be fairly accurate if you have a calibrated measurement device or a calibrated leak to use as a standard.

    Find a copy of 'A User's Guide to Vacuum Technology by John F. O'Hanlon" for measurement details.

  5. Jan 30, 2014 #4
    Gas Chromatograph or Mass Spectrometer (RGA)
  6. Jan 30, 2014 #5
    Oops. Forgot to mention that the experiment would involve the alpha decay of a radioactive source, hence, I need a way to differentiate between alpha particles and helium.
  7. Jan 31, 2014 #6


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    Science Advisor

    That's out of my level of expertise but to detect helium with a mass spectrometer/RGA you need to ionize it first so it can be accelerated into the mass detector. For charged particles like alphas a silicon detector could be used.

    http://www.ortec-online.com/Solutions/RadiationDetectors/silicon-charged-particle-detectors.aspx [Broken]
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
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