I have reexamined the gamma spectrum from the trinitite, and I have some news for my loyal readers. What I did was to look at someone else’s gamma spectrum of trinitite and then try to match peaks.
Here is the spectrum
Gamma spectrum of trinitite
What we can now see are two peaks (51.7 and 129.3 keV) which are due to the gamma emissions from plutonium-239. Also we can see a set of three lines due to uranium L lines X-rays.
We might ask why are we seeing uranium x-rays coming from a sample which contains so little uranium. One explanation which I think is very reasonable is that the alpha decay of the plutonium-239 forms uranium-235 which is formed in an electronically excited state. The uranium-235 then undergoes a rearrangement of the electrons to form the X-rays. This has been observed by others during XRF studies on plutonium metal.
This is further evidence that the sample contains the radionuclides which should be expected from the trinitiy test. So now I have managed to prove that the sample contains plutonium.
As the sample also contains americium-241 I think it would be reasonable to next make an attempt to find the lines for neptunium X-rays. These could be a further sign that the sample contains americium. I can not think of any other alpha emitters which will be present in large / moderate or even less than tiny amounts in the trinitite.
I will have to think further about the sample.
Filed under: actinide, actinides, americium, atom bomb, atomic bomb, nuclear, nuclear bombs, nuclear chemistry, nuclear technology, plutonium, radioactivity, trinity, Uranium | Tagged: americium, nuclear bombs, plutonium, radioactivity, trinity, Uranium |