Measuring Radiation in a Closed System

In summary, the conversation discusses a closed system with radioactive molecules undergoing beta decay. The resulting daughter nuclide is also radioactive and equations are used to describe the amount of parent and daughter nuclides. The equations involve correct constants and decay rates. The question is raised about the predicted amount of radiation differing from the measured amount, and possible reasons such as faulty measuring equipment and absorption are considered. However, further details and explanations are needed for a more accurate answer.
  • #1
confyoused
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Suppose we have a closed system in which molecules cannot escape. Into this system we enter some radioactive molecules with [itex]\beta^+[/itex] decay. We know that the resulting daughter nuclide is also radioactive. We have some equations to describe the amount of parent nuclides and daughter nuclides, involving some constants which are correct. The equations are given by:
[tex]\frac{dN_1}{dt} = -\lambda_1 N_1[/tex]
[tex]\frac{dN_2}{dt} = -\lambda_2 N_2 + \lambda_1 N_1[/tex]

with [itex]\lambda_1, \lambda_2[/itex] the decay rates. Suppose we want to measure the amount of radiation in this system.

Could there be any reason why the predicted amount of radiation differs greatly from the measured amount of radiation. We know that molecules cannot leave the system so that cannot be a reason. We could say that faulty measuring equipment could be a reason but besides that is there any other reason? Maybe absorption of the molecules could be a factor?
 
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  • #2
confyoused said:
Suppose we have a closed system in which molecules cannot escape. Into this system we enter some radioactive molecules with [itex]\beta^+[/itex] decay. We know that the resulting daughter nuclide is also radioactive. We have some equations to describe the amount of parent nuclides and daughter nuclides, involving some constants which are correct. The equations are given by:
[tex]\frac{dN_1}{dt} = -\lambda_1 N_1[/tex]
[tex]\frac{dN_2}{dt} = -\lambda_2 N_2 + \lambda_1 N_1[/tex]

with [itex]\lambda_1, \lambda_2[/itex] the decay rates. Suppose we want to measure the amount of radiation in this system.

Could there be any reason why the predicted amount of radiation differs greatly from the measured amount of radiation. We know that molecules cannot leave the system so that cannot be a reason. We could say that faulty measuring equipment could be a reason but besides that is there any other reason? Maybe absorption of the molecules could be a factor?

This is frustratingly vague! It appears as if you are trying to find an explanation for something that you have in mind, but won't describe it fully here. Consequently, what you have written here is full of holes.

For example, what is this "closed system"? You never offered an explanation. Is it a physical vessel of some kind? Beta radiation are energetic electrons that will move away very quickly. So what are you containing them with? And what is this "equipment" that you are using? Radiation detection equipment are not sensitive to ALL types of radiation.

My answer is as vague or as accurate as the question itself.

Zz.
 
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Related to Measuring Radiation in a Closed System

1. How is radiation measured in a closed system?

In a closed system, radiation is typically measured using a device called a Geiger counter, which detects and counts individual radiation particles. Another common method is using a dosimeter, which measures the total amount of radiation exposure over a period of time.

2. What units are used to measure radiation?

Radiation is measured in units of becquerels (Bq) or curies (Ci) for activity, and grays (Gy) or rads for absorbed dose. The more common units used in everyday life are millisieverts (mSv) or rems, which measure the dose equivalent to human tissues.

3. What is the difference between external and internal radiation exposure?

External radiation exposure occurs when radiation enters the body from outside sources, such as x-rays or gamma rays. Internal radiation exposure occurs when radioactive materials are inhaled, ingested, or absorbed into the body, leading to exposure of internal tissues and organs.

4. How does radiation exposure affect the human body?

Radiation exposure can cause damage to cells and tissues, leading to a variety of health effects depending on the level and duration of exposure. These effects can range from mild symptoms, such as nausea and fatigue, to more serious conditions like cancer and genetic mutations.

5. What safety precautions should be taken when measuring radiation in a closed system?

When measuring radiation in a closed system, it is important to follow proper safety protocols and wear appropriate protective gear, such as gloves and a lab coat. It is also important to use the correct equipment and follow manufacturer instructions for safe handling and disposal of radioactive materials.

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