Experimental Modern and Quantum Physics for Do-It-Yourself Science Enthusiasts 

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Perkin Elmer C30902E SPADs on eBay for $91 (Unrelated to Authors)

Someone (I don’t know the seller) is selling brand new Perkin Elmer C30902E Silicon Avalanche Photodiodes on eBay.  Auction number:  200747161278. These are NOT chilled by a thermoelectric cooler, so their internal noise may be too large for experiments with entangled photons unless you rig some sort of external Peltier element to keep them chilled.  However,

 
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Testing Electronic Goldmine’s “Giant Super Sensitive Geiger Muller Tube MC6”

I purchased two “Giant Super Sensitive MC6” GM tubes from Electronic Goldmine (Item Number : G18717, Unit Price: $89.95).  These are Russian-made new-old-stock model MC6.  They are 10.25″ long x 0.9″ diameter.  I compared the sensitivity of these tubes to the other GM tubes that I use with my CDV700 Pro Geiger Counter.

 
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Tom Van Baak’s Family-Friendly Relativistic Time-Dilation Experiment

I was going through my e-mails for some information on atomic frequency standards, when I came across an e-mail that I had sent to Tom Van Baak in 2007 congratulating him for his family-friendly time dilation experiment.  If you are not familiar with his work,  I heartily recommend that you explore his precision-time-keeping webpage at LeapSecond.com.

 
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d.i.y. Alpha-Particle Rutherford Scattering Experiment – Supplementary Pictures

The book’s Figures 70 and 71 show our d.i.y. version of a popular apparatus to measure alpha particle scattering.  The figure above shows additional views to help you build your own.  The apparatus allows you to demonstrate alpha particle scattering discovered by Ernest Rutherford in 1908.  Fundamental to the discovery of the atom’s structure, the experiment

 
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Connecting to Surplus Scionix Miniature Scintillation Probes

Scionix in The Netherlands has taken advantage of the recent development of miniature mesh-type dynode photomultiplier tubes to construct small-diameter scintillation probes.  Scionix’s miniature probes incorporate one of those PMTs, a NaI(Tl) scintillation crystal, and a built-in dynode voltage divider.  Connection to the probe is made through a miniature high-voltage locking coaxial connector.  Finding a mating connector is the main

 
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Simple d.i.y. Bias-T for Scintillation Probes with Single Connector

Many surplus scintillation probes have a single connector through which the PMT is fed with high voltage and the anode signal is output.  However, this may require an external “Bias-T” (a high voltage / signal splitter) to connect the probe to a high-voltage power supply that is separate from the PMT amplifier/processor.

 
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Simple d.i.y. Low-Pass Filter for Interfacing PMT Amplifier to PC Sound Card (Used with Free “Pulse Recorder and Analyser” Software MCA)

Figure 34 in the book shows the schematic diagram for our photomultiplier tube (PMT) signal processing circuit has an analog output that is suitable for use with a sound-card-based multichannel pulse-height analyzer (MCA).  However, if you already have a commercial scintillation processor that you would like to use with PRA, then you will somehow need to

 
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d.i.y. 15 kV @ 30 mA Floating-Output AC or DC High-Voltage Power Supply

Transformers made for powering large neon signs are inexpensive and very reliable.  Most commonly, the secondary is center-tapped, which prevents the use of its full peak-to-peak output in applications where one of the terminals needs to be grounded. In the power supply described in this post, I took out the high-voltage transformer out of its metallic

 
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d.i.y. Quantum Dot Synthesis

Experimental chemistry is not our forte, so we prefer to use professionally-manufactured quantum dots for the Schrödinger’s Wave Equation experiments we discuss in the book‘s Chapter 7.  However, if you are interested in synthesizing your own quantum-dot nanoparticle suspensions, we recommend that you take a look at the detailed instructions prepared by  Professor George Lisensky

 
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Home-Built Radiac (Radiation Detector and Meter) for a Surplus DT-590A/PDR-56F Scintillation Probe

Military DT-590A/PDR-56 “x-ray” probes are widely available in the surplus market.  They were meant to be used with the military Radiac Set AN/PDR-56, which is a portable scintillation-type instrument used for detection of plutonium-239 contamination. In addition to emitting 5.1 MeV alpha particles, Plutonium-239 also emits gamma rays in the energy range of 14 to 21

 
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Converting a DT-590A/PDR-56F “X-Ray” Probe into a General-Purpose NaI(Tl) Gamma Probe

The military Radiac Set, AN/PDR-56 is a portable scintillation type instrument used for detection of alpha contamination. The system includes a large and small interchangeable probe with a probe extension.  This system is being phased out by the US Air Force, so new probes are becoming widely available in the surplus market. The “x-ray” probe

 
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Open-Source Handheld Gamma Spectrometer on Yahoo Group GammaSpectrometry

An amateur-use open-source gamma spectrum analyzer is being developed by members of the GeigerCounterEnthusiast (GCE) Yahoo Group.  This multichannel analyzer (MCA) is based on the STM32F103VBT6 microcontroller.  It displays spectra on a color LCD. To access the design files (and hopefully to participate in the development) you will need to join the GammaSpectrometry Yahoo Group

 
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d.i.y. Handheld Multichannel Analyzer (MCA) based on 16F877 PIC Microcontroller and LCD

Some time ago I was developing a medical instrument which required histogramming, which got me in the mood to retake my own PIC MCA project(http://home.comcast.net/~prutchi/index_files/scint.htm ).   I used the variable RAM in the microcontroller (16F877), so I limited the number of channels to 95 and let the histogram run until some channel reaches 240 counts (the

 
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Prototyping PCB for d.i.y. Photomultiplier (PMT) Amplifier/Processor

We built the bulk of our PMT amplifier/processor/discriminator on a Universal PDIP Operational Amplifier Evaluation Module by Texas Instruments (model OPAMPEVM-PDIP).  Click on the picture above for a full-size version of the picture. The diagram in the following pdf file shows the connection layout for the circuit shown in the book’s Figure 34: PMT Processor PCB 

 
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d.i.y. Mod for Perkin Elmer SPCM-AQR Single-Photon Detector Module to Improve Photon Timing Performance

I. Rech, I. Labanca, M. Ghioni, and S. Cova of the Politecnico di Milano in Italy described an interesting modification to the Perkin Elmer SPCM-AQR Single-Photon Counting Module (SPCM) to improve its timing characteristics in: I. Rech, I. Labanca, M. Ghioni, and S. Cova, “Modified single photon counting modules for optimal timing performance“, Rev. Sci.

 
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