Protection from both beta particles & Gamma rays?

  • Thread starter gotmilk954
  • Start date
  • #1
What would be the best protection from these two at the same time?
Lead alone or a mixture of something like lead and Plexiglas?
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
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Well, you can go have a look around the ESTAR database at NIST to get a feel for electron ranges in different materials. Then you could look at the mass-energy attenuation coefficients for photons at NIST also. see: http://physics.nist.gov/PhysRefData/Star/Text/ESTAR.html and http://www.nist.gov/pml/data/xraycoef/index.cfm

What you will find, as a general trend, is that for a homogeneous shield materials with a higher Z shield both photons and electrons better (as a general rule).

The converse is true for alphas and heavy ion radiation, where you want Hydrogen rich shielding materials.
 
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  • #3
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I install both borated polyethylene and high density polyethylene with its high Hydrogen content, thx for the links Norman :-/
 
  • #4
mathman
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Anything that works well against gamma rays will easily stop beta rays as well as alpha.
 
  • #5
Drakkith
Staff Emeritus
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Anything that works well against gamma rays will easily stop beta rays as well as alpha.

Exactly. Gamma radiation requires MUCH more shielding than beta radiation does. A pair of gloves will easily stop Beta particles from getting to your hands, while you would need gloves of something like lead, gold, or uranium to block gamma radiation effectively. (Something very dense with a high atomic mass, and yes, they do use uranium as a shielding material)
 

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