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[Phys-l] Short half-life isotope separation. Was:Re: Minigenerator nuclear rate meter

Less expensive and the advantage of DIY is MeIBK (hexone), dil. HCl and uranyl nitrate or acetate. (I think I've seen recipes for both.) Shake and Pa resides in the top hexone layer W/ a short half-life. The container must be thin plastic, as, IIRC, the betas are low E. Recipes reside on the web.

bc, a penny pincher and DIYer.

p.s. the container will die long before the Pa is exhausted. Reminds me of Keynes: "In the long run we'll all be dead."

Brian Whatcott wrote:

At 09:42 AM 6/1/2007, Charles Crook, you wrote:


Amidst the long-unused equipment in our stock room, we have a Union
Carbide Minigenerator Nuclear Rate Meter. This is a small,
battery-operated unit in a yellow and blue case that detects decays
and reports them both with clicks on the internal speaker and in
Counts per Minute on an analog meter.

I am preparing to lead a group of Boy Scouts through their Nuclear
Science merit badge and thought that this little meter would be much


"Obtaining isotopes with short half-lives can be readily done with the
proper equipment.
Union Carbide MINIGENERATOR systems can be used to separate
pure samples of radioisotope daughter from mother products.
For instance, the Cesium 137 unit can be used to "milk" Barium 137m
from a "cow." Tin 113 can be used to derive Indium 113m.T
hese radioisotope generators use a chemical combination of
HCL and NaCl (called the eluant) to separate the daughter
products from the mother material."

I took this from an....
Addendum to
Hands-On Physics Activities with Real-Life Applications
by James Cunningham & Norman Herr
The Center for Applied Research in Education
by Carl J. Wenning, Coordinator
Physics Teacher Education Program
Illinois State University

Brian Whatcott Altus OK Eureka!

Forum for Physics Educators