Appendix A -Data sources

Home Page | Data Sources Intro

1: Online internet sources of gamma-ray emission data

These items are presented in a suggested order of priority. All links are displayed in a separate window.
  • Decay Data Evaluation Project - DDEP

  • LARA
    • LARA Database
      This database is more extensive than DDEP in terms number of nuclides, but only includes gamma-ray and X-ray emission data. Energy levels and other minutiae of nuclear decay are not included. The database is in synchronism with the DDEP data. Data for other nuclides seem to be taken from ENSDF. Unlike the DDEP data itself, data can be copied and pasted from this database. There is also a useful facility that lists all gamma-rays within an energy range. A useful tool for identifying unexpected interferences.
    • Other Information about LNHB data sources

    • The Follow-up to the IAEA TECDOC-619 (Son-of-TECDOC)
      Evaluation exercise, covering all the original 36 nuclides plus additional nuclides to a total of 63. This source gives information about the data and includes links to individual html files containing half-lives, gamma-ray emission data and X-ray emission data. There is also a limited amount of evaluated data on emission rates of high-energy gamma-rays beyond the normal gamma spectrometry range.
    • Excel spreadsheet containing the whole set of data
      The easiest way of importing the data into your own libraries.
    • The Original IAEA-TECDOC-619 DataAt the time of publication, this was the best available data, but only for some 36 radionuclides. It has now been superseded by XGAMMA and DDEP.
    • xgamma.xls, which combines all of the IAEA tables into one table, listed by nuclide, is available on this site.

    • Evaluated Nuclear Structure Data File
      This gives the easiest access to the database via a periodic table of the elements display. The database is maintained by the National Nuclear Data Center (NNDC) based at Brookhaven National Laboratory in the USA.
      A most useful feature of this data source is access to decay scheme plots. To do this, it is necessary to have all features of Java installed on the user’s computer. The Java display allows gamma-rays in coincidence to be highlighted.

  • NuData 2.3
    • NuData
      This database is maintained by the National Nuclear Data Center at Berkeley National Laboratory in the USA. This is very comprehensive source of nuclear data. The initial user interface is a Segré Chart from which nuclides can be selected for particular attention, although it is easier to use the search links above the display. Links are provided to tables of energy levels and decay emissions, and to a decay scheme plot. There is, however, no way of picking out coincident gamma-rays.

2: Other Sources of Gamma-ray Emission Data

These are computer resources for accessing nuclear data, which might be downloaded from the internet, but which are installed and run locally.
  • Isotope Explorer
    This is also available as a download via links at . It uses the ENSDF and TORI (Table Of Radioactive Isotopes) databases. It is a Java based program that can be set up to access either the online or locally stored database.

  • JANIS 3.0
    The Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) has recently improved and updated its JANIS (JAva-based Nuclear Information Software) to version 3.0. The program provides access to a number of databases including JEFF-3.1 and allows plots of gamma-rays by emission probability, nuclear reaction cross-sections, fission yields and much other data not relevant to gamma spectrometry.

  • JEF-2.2 - Joint Evaluated File
    This is a collaborative project between the countries participating in the NEA Data Bank. The JEF-2.2 library comprises of sets of evaluated nuclear data, mainly for fission reactor applications; it contains a number of different data types, including neutron interaction data, radioactive decay data, fission yield data, thermal scattering law data and photo-atomic interaction data. JEF-PC is a personal computer package containing selected data from the JEF 2.2 library. The user interface is via a 'Chart of the Nuclides' format. Available, at a charge, from OECD publications, Electronic Editions, 2 Rue Andre-Pascal, 75775 Paris Cedex 16, France (Tel: +33 (1) 4910 4265, fax: +33 (1) 4910 4299. At the time of writing, information on the internet about JEF is scanty.

  • JEFF-3.1 Joint Evaluated Fission and Fusion Library
    The complete suite of data was released in May 2005, and contains general purpose nuclear data evaluations compiled at the NEA Data Bank in co-operation with several laboratories in NEA Data Bank member countries. (JEFF-3.2 is at beta test stage.) JEFF-3.1 contains also radioactive decay data, activation data and fission yields data. The library contains neutron reaction data, incident proton data and thermal neutron scattering law data in the ENDF-6 format.
    The library can be downloaded in its entirety as a single file or one file per isotope from the JEFF-3.1 project page. A CD-ROM of the complete library can also be requested free of charge by sending an e-mail request.

  • TORI - Table Of Radioactive Isotopes Browne and Firestone's book and its accompanying CD-ROM, is based on the ENSDF data, described above. Data from this database can be accessed by Isotope Explorer, again described above.

    3: Internet Sources of Other Nuclear Data

  • The IAEA maintains a very detailed list of nuclear databases of all kinds including those of value to persons engaged in prompt gamma-ray measurements.

  • X-ray energies
    A source of information about X-ray energies and emission rates independent of nuclear decay. X-ray energies and emission rates of particular nuclides will be found with the gamma-ray data in the sources listed in Section 1.

  • Isobaric chain diagrams
    This URL gives access to diagrams showing simplified decay schemes arranged in isobaric chains, as described in Chapter 1. Diagrams can be downloaded in either Postscript or .pdf format.

  • Nuclear Energy Levels
    This URL was also mentioned above as a source of gamma-ray data. It is particularly useful for nuclear energy levels.

  • Gamma-Ray Spectra
    In the beginning, there was sodium iodide. In 1964, R.L.Heath published ‘Scintillation Spectrometry – Gamma-ray Spectrum Catalog’ this contained printed spectra of a large number of nuclides. Invaluable at the time, this is still of interest today and is available on the internet, together with the Ge(Li)-Si(Li) spectrum catalogue that followed.

4: Nuclear Data in print

  • Table of Radioactive Isotopes Browne, E., Firestone, R.B., Shirley, V.S., (Editor), Baglin, C.M., (Editor) (1999) , Wiley, New York.
    Earlier editions of this book have graced the desks of many gamma spectrometrists for a long time, and rightly so. If you want printed data, it doesn’t get better than this. It is comprehensive, authoritative and easy to use. Limitations are a lack of general ordering by energy, only very rudimentary display of isobaric decay relationships and there is no cascade information. This book is now available in paperback and is accompanied by a CD containing the TORI nuclear data tables referred to above.
  • Evaluation of half-life data Woods, M.J., Collins, S.M., Woods, S.A. (2004) , NPL Report CAIR 8. Data intended to update the TECDOC-619 data and extend to 63 nuclides. These data are now incorporated into DDEP.
  • Recommended Nuclear Decay Data Smith, D. and Woods, S.A (1995) , NPL Report RSA(EXT)53 Data for 53 nuclides taken from JEF 2, UKPADD and ENSDF databases. Does not include the TECDOC-619 nuclides. Superseded by DDEP
  • The Radiochemical Manual Longworth, G. (Editor), (1998) AEA Technology plc., HMSO Publication Incorporates the NPL RSA(EXT)53 data and other data taken from the UKHEDD database. Includes the TECDOC-619 nuclides but does not incorporate the TECDOC-619 data. Superseded by DDEP and no longer recommended as a source nuclear data. That does not diminish the value of this manual from a general informative point of view.

5: Physics Information

6: Chemical Information

  • Periodic Tables
    All of these have links to information about individual elements via the table itself.

  • Elemental Abundances
    These URLs provide the abundances of the chemical elements in the solar system, earth's crust and the earth’s sea.

  • Chemical Properties The Wikipedia Periodic Table (above) links to files for each element. To select a particular element, replace the ‘Periodic_Table’ in the URL with the name of the element. For example, for copper the URL is:

  • Chemistry of the Elements Many years ago the US National Academy of Sciences, within the National Research Council Nuclear Science Series, created a useful series of monographs on Radiochemistry and Radiochemical Technique. At a time when much of activation analysis involved chemical separation, these were invaluable. They are now on the internet

7: Miscellaneous Information

I list here a number of links that do not fit into any previous category but may be of interest to some readers:
  • Glossary of Nuclear Science (LBL)
  • Nuclear Spectrometry Users' Forum - an active UK based group of alpha and gamma spectrometrists:
  • NIST Reference on Constants, Units, and Uncertainty
  • N-BASE Nuclear Information Service
  • RADCH-L – the radiochemical mailing list
    The list is administered by Gilles Montavon from the Laboratory SUBATECH in Nantes. It carries messages of information and requests for assistance from radiochemists around the world. Very worthwhile. To subscribe to the list: email the simple message: 'SUB RADCH-L your-name’ to The link above give more details and the ability to search the RADCH-L archives.
  • Science Direct
    This is an immensely useful resource that I have used extensively in recent years is - especially while writing the Second Edition. This provides access to all the journals published by Elsevier. There is a good search facility to allow relevant articles to be found. It is also possible to put oneself on an email list to be sent the list of contents of selected journals as they are published – that alone has saved me many a wasted journey to the library. Non-registered users only have access to the article abstracts, but full copies can be bought online using a credit card. Persons registered, personally, through their place of work or university, have full download access to .pdf files of the full articles. The facility is pricey, but it does display author’s contact email addresses to allow you to make a request for a copy in the time-honoured fashion.

8: Other publications in print

Suggestions for additional reading matter were given in the body of the book at the end of each chapter. Here I list general texts I have found most useful.
  • Radiation Detection and Measurement Knoll, G. F. (2000). Wiley, New York, third edition An excellent and indispensable text on radiation measurement in general, particularly good on explaining electronics and detection mechanisms; a paperback version also available.

  • Gamma and X-Ray Spectrometry with Semiconductor Detectors Debertin, K. and Helmer, R. G. (1988). North Holland, Amsterdam Packed with interesting information, detailed on analysis, somewhat sketchy on hardware.

  • Measurement and Detection of Radiation Tsoulfanidis, N. (1995). Taylor & Francis Inc; second edition. Covers more-or-less the same ground but a little less detailed than Knoll (1989).

  • The Theory and Practice of Scintillation Counting Birks, J. B. (1964). Pergamon, Oxford A classic text.

  • The Radiochemical Manual Longworth, G. (Editor) (1998), AEA Technology plc., HMSO Publication
    This is a useful explanation of a range of radiochemical matters. It comes with a CD containing a large catalogue of nuclear data. That should be regarded as superseded by DDEP (see Section 1). That does not diminish the value of this manual from a general informative point of view.

  • Gamma-Ray Spectroscopy with Particular Reference to Detector and Computer Evaluation Techniques Quittner, P. (1972). Hilger, London.
    An interesting slim volume.

  • Quantitative X-Ray Spectrometry Jenkins, R., Gould, R. W. and Gedcke, D. (1981). Dekker, New York
    Chapter 4, on dead time losses, is of particular interest.

  • The Atomic Nucleus Evans, R. D. (1982 and later editions). Krieger Publishing Company
    Still authoritative on basics, despite its age. A 2003 edition is listed but appears to be out-of-print.

  • Radiochemical and Nuclear Methods of Analysis Ehmann, W. D. and Vance, D. E. (1991). Wiley, New York
    A readable and up-to-date text covering much of the material in Chapter 1 of Practical Gamma-Ray Spectrometry.

Appendices Data Example Spectra Links Spreadsheets Test Spectra

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