Andrew Lathrop says:

I created this inexpensive radiation dosimeter for the people of Japan. Strange that when I sent this to Japanese newspapers it was not printed or commented on.

We were all amazed at the sensitivity of an inexpensive digital camera ccd to beta radiation eqvalent to 100 bananas (+- 1.0 mrem).

I have run the experiment Pyrex dishware with 14 bananas as a source using 10 exposures resulting in 4.7 sigma events. A single photo yielded only a 1.5 sigma not signifacant to write about. I still have a few more experiments to do.

Digital Camera Radiation Dosimeter

Mark Frauenfelder

Mark Frauenfelder

Mark Frauenfelder is the editor-in-chief of Make magazine, and the founder of the popular Boing Boing blog.

  • Dave Brunker

    That ended abruptly, is there more?

  • Daniel Kim

    So, the plastic scintillator is plastic that has some other material incorporated into it that gives off light when hit with radiation. The foil and tape blocks ambient light during the exposure. I just learned that tonic water will fluoresce under ultraviolet light due to the quinine that is contains. Does anyone know if tonic water will fluoresce on exposure to the beta particles given off by potassium? I am assuming that this is the type of emission that is being picked up here.