Welcome to GammaSources.
We are a small side-arm of PhyChem R&D which provides enthusiasts with compact and handlable sources of gamma and neutron radiation.
To ensure there is no risk of contamination, each source is provided as a plastic "puck", within which is an amount of gamma emitter (radium). Typically enthusiasts are interested in confirming that their geiger counter is working. Especially if this is a home made device.
To ensure a little more flexibility, all pucks are "double sided" and emit either different strengths - or in the case of the neutron / gamma puck, different types of radiation altogether.
Safety is important when handling any radioactive device however these have been designed to be safe to handle with bare hands - though when not in use should be kept stored away in an area not often frequented - for example at the back of the floor in the garage. Side One of the gamma pucks are "High Level Gamma" but this is still moderate and relative to the reduced output of Side Two. All our pucks are safe to handle for check purposes involved with the testing and setting up of geiger counters - or doing other experiments.
Clearly it is important to adopt good practice and as such, any radioactive source should be kept as a far from people as reasonably possible when not actually in use.
The radium is of course an alpha emitter however we are unaware of a method to allow us to produce a "safe to handle" sample as encapsulating the source into a puck will completely block the alpha radiation. We are looking at offering beta emitters in the near future however and if this is of interest, please do contact us. The radium we use comes from a variety of sources - including reprocessed radium from clock and watch hands. It can take the radium from many tiny watch hands to make a single puck and as such, we may be out-of-stock from time to time.
We are currently offering the following pucks, the colour shown in the table below represents the two colours of the puck - to ensure easy identification. Each puck also has the information printed on each side.
Neutron sources are dearer because they must contain aluminium or beryllium to generate neutrons from alpha particles. Beryllium is much dearer but also much better. As such we only use beryllium. In the case of slow neutrons, they must also contain a moderator. Although we may be offering a semi-pro puck soon which uses deuterium oxide (heavy water), our hobbyist version uses a special resin blend and additional materials.
Neutron sources will still emit a certain amount of gamma and the slow neutron sources will still contain many fast neutrons. Again we are hoping to produce a pro-version which will be a much larger device that will aim to achieve both high shielding of gamma radiation and more complete moderation of fast neutrons to slow neutrons.
Our offerings are aimed at being very cost effective, to generate a controlled amount of radiation and to be safe for careful handling - we are proud of what we have achieved.
A safety puck is also available which we strongly recommend. We have kept the price low to make it easy for people to be responsible. Furthermore we will only sell ONE puck unless someone also purchases a pair of safety pucks. These are placed on the bottom and top of other pucks in a simple stack.
Safety items for sale :- the safety puck is oversized and the radioactive pucks should be place in the centre. The safety puck contains two thick sheets of lead with a middle filling of boric acid. The lead heavily reduces gamma radiation levels and the boric acid also massively reduces neutron radiation. As the pucks are designed to emit very little radiation from the side, this enables a simple and effective way to safely store the material.
If you would like to order, please send us an email explaining what you would like to purchase and we will provide a Paypal link for you to make payment. Goods will be sent the same day as the payment is made (apart from bank holidays, weekends or if the last post has already gone).
All carriage is a fixed fee - it is £3. Sorry it is dearer than we would like but with one of the most expensive postal systems in the world, it is limited what we can do. This fee covers the packaging, postage and also a "signed for" delivery to help make sure things do not get "lost" by the Post Office.
Please contact us and we will get your order sorted out quickly for you.