Welcome to the RIB Joint. A blog discussing science issues with an emphasis on health physics and agnotology.
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Would a Geiger counter 5 feet above the sand detect an alpha emitter like thorium?
Good question which I'll break into 2 parts. Would a Geiger counter 5 feet above the sand detect alpha radiation emitted by thorium? No, the alpha particles can't travel that far in air.Would a Geiger counter 5 feet above the sand detect natural thorium? Yes. Natural thorium decays down to lead through a number of other decays. Gamma radiation can be detected by the Geiger counter.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Decay_chain