Appendices from 'The Book'

Home Page | Appendix A | Appendix B | Appendix C | Appendix D | Appendix E | Report Decision Limits

Appendix A:

In the book, this appendix deals with sources of information on gamma spectrometry. On this website that information appears on the Data page.

Appendix B: Gamma-ray and X-ray Standards for Detector Calibration

This Appendix contains evaluated and recommended data on a selected set of radionuclides suitable for use in the energy and efficiency calibration of detectors. The data in the first edition of this book were taken from X-Ray and Gamma-Ray Standards for Detector Calibration, published by the International Atomic Energy Agency as IAEA TECDOC-619. Since that time, the data has been re-evaluated and extended within the international Decay Date Evaluation Project (DDEP). After much delay the updated data was published by the IAEA as XGAMMA (X-ray and Gamma-ray Decay Data Standards for Detector Calibration and Other Applications) in late spring 2007. Rather than reproduce the whole of that report, which is accessible on the internet at, I have restricted myself to updating the data for nuclides in the original table. For convenience, the gamma-ray and X-ray standards, listed separately in XGAMMA, are here combined into one table. (Also available as 25 kB pdf file.)

Appendix C: X-rays routinely found in gamma spectra

The table below is intended to assist gamma spectroscopists in identifying X-rays in their spectra. All those associated with nuclides mentioned in the text, those sometimes visible in background and one or two extra items that have caught the author unawares in the past. The data are taken from an online source provided by the US Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory. All energies have been rounded to two decimal places. You should be aware that other lower intensity X-rays will accompany those listed in the table. In particular, the K and K X-rays are accompanied by K and K , respectively, at almost the same energy. (Also available as 11 kB pdf file.)

Appendix D: Gamma-ray energies in the detector background and the environment.

The list now represents what is likely to be observed in 200 000 second background spectrum measured by a 50% detector housed in a typical commercial shield in a routine ground-level counting room in an unremarkable geological area of the UK. 228Ac and 214Bi emit hundreds of gamma-rays with low emission probability not included in the list. From time to time, particular with very long counts, some of these may be detected. (Also available as 26kB pdf file.)

Appendix E: Chemical Names, symbols and relative atomic masses of the elements

Information in this appendix is taken from the IUPAC Technical Report: Atomic Weights of the Elements 2001, as published in 'Pure and Applied Chemistry, 75, 1107-1122 (2003). In these tables, relative atomic masses (RAM) have been rounded to two decimal places. (Also available as 24kB pdf file.)

Report: Decision Limits

Following Currie's lead, this PowerPoint presentation deals with the Decision Limits in gamma-ray spectrometry: Critical Limit and Upper Limit and the vexed question of Limit of Detection and Minimum Detectable Activity, which, as we know, is NOT the minimum activity detectable.

Data Example Spectra Links Spreadsheets Test Spectra

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