November 15th, 2022
You are a health physicist and you find an unknown contaminant that proves to be a pure beta emitter. To try to identify the contaminant, you attempt to determine the maximum energy of the beta rays. You use a GM tube with a thin (0.1 mm, ?=2.7 g/cm^3) end window. You find that 1.74 mm stops all of the beta particles. The distance between the sample and the counter is 2 cm.
a. What is the energy of the beta particle?
b. What do you think the contaminant is?