Attenuation of gamma rays in binary compounds - A versatile illustration of Beer's Law

E. W. Kleppinger, S. W. Yates

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Student results for this experiment have been excellent. Curves for experimental and theoretical attenuation in both H2O and CCl4 are virtually indistinguishable (Fig. 4). Obtaining and plotting μ values for the compounds versus γ-ray energy is the initial step of the data analysis. Once this information is plotted, the analysis is straightfoward and most students find the excellent results they obtain well worth the effort expended. A wide variety of principles can be taught with this experiment. In the analytical realm, a concrete and visual illustration of Beer's law is provided in such a way as to emphasize its applicability to electromagnetic radiation in general. In the field of radiochemistry, the student learns about the properties and detection of γ rays, and obtains information on the effectiveness of various absorbers. Two relevant applications of the theory used in this procedure should be pointed out. Depth gauging as such can be used, for example, in industry for quality control, while information on absorbers for γ rays is useful in designing shielding for gamma radiation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)172-174
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Chemical Education
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1987

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • Education


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