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2015 Spring Symposium on Undergraduate Research and Community... has ended
Wednesday, April 22 • 8:30am - 10:30am
Gamma Ray Transmission Through Snow

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The recent snow storm has made it possible to test the claim in a US Army survival book that 51.6 cm of snow is adequate to shield from residual gamma radiation following a nuclear disaster. In this book there was an illustration of different materials that could be used as temporary radiation buffers. Surprisingly, snow was on the list. The survival book states that 51.6 cm of snow is adequate to shield from residual gamma radiation following a nuclear disaster. An inexpensive experimental setup was easy constructed in order to test the survival handbook’s claim. Five tests were completed, each at different snow depths ranging from 58.9 cm down to 7.62 cm. In each of the 5 tests, readings were taken with and without snow on the path leading to the Geiger counter. The data gathered shows quite clearly that snow does inhibit the transmission of gamma rays, as much as a 20% reduction in one case. This experiment shows that even innocuous materials will shield from gamma radiation with the only dependence being on the thickness of the material between the source and the Geiger counter. This experiment also leads to the next phase which will involve testing more conventional materials and explore ways to improve their efficiency.

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Wednesday April 22, 2015 8:30am - 10:30am
Wilma Sherrill Center Concourse