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Homework Help: Radioactive alpha source question

  1. Mar 29, 2017 #1
    Small radioactive sources are often used for laboratory experiments. They are enclosed in a metal container with a small window. A gamma source might be covered by a stainless steel window. What would you expect the window of an alpha source to be like, and why? (I know the answer has to do with the lower penetrating power of alpha particles, I'm just not sure what material would be best). Thanks in advance!
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 29, 2017 #2
    It really depends on the size and quantity of the material in question. Generally alpha radiation is extremely easy to block, even a piece of paper can stop most of it, so I would imagine you wouldn't need much more than a simple glass or plastic window to protect yourself.
  4. Mar 29, 2017 #3
    That makes sense. Thank you.
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