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Obtaining and Investigating Unconventional Sources of Radioactivity

Physics Teacher Volume 48, Number 2, ISSN 0031-921X


This paper provides examples of naturally radioactive items that are likely to be found in most communities. Additionally, there is information provided on how to acquire many of these items inexpensively. I have found that the presence of these materials in the classroom is not only useful for teaching about nuclear radiation and debunking the "nuclear free" myth, but also for helping students to understand the history of some of the commercial uses of radioactive materials since the early 20th century. Finally, the activity of each source (relative to background radiation) is provided.


Lapp, D.R. (2010). Obtaining and Investigating Unconventional Sources of Radioactivity. Physics Teacher, 48(2), 90-92. Retrieved July 21, 2019 from .

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