Purpose of experiment

Gamma (ray) spectrometry is a widely used measurement technique in which gamma ray spectra originating from radioactive isotopes are analyzed. The purpose of the experiment is to demonstrate the gamma spectrometry technique by performing gamma spectrum measurements for a selection of radioactive sources. The complex features in the recorded gamma spectra are visualized and their origins explained; radionuclide activities are determined on the basis of the measured spectra, the basic nuclear data and the calibrated detection efficiency.

Outcome / What you will learn
Students will:

  1. gain experience in gamma spectrometry measurements
  2. visualize and understand the complex features in recorded gamma spectra
  3. analyse gamma spectra
  4. determine the activity of radionuclides in measured radioactive sources.
  1. A multi-isotope standard is measured. Various gamma lines are detected and described.
  2. Previously irradiated samples of certified reference materials (e.g. Al-Au, Al-Co, Al-Th) are measured using gamma ray spectroscopy. Students identify the main characteristics (Backscatter and Compton edge, full energy peak, sum peak from pile-up, single and double escape peaks) in the gamma ray spectra.
  3. The activities of the radionuclides in the samples are determined on the basis of the calibrated detection efficiency.
Exercise No. 12: Gamma spectrometry