Concerned the ceramics you picked up at the local thrift show or the antique glassware passed down for generations in your family is radioactive? Bring it in to be tested during California State University, Northridge’s Department of Physics and Astronomy‘s annual Nuclear Physics Laboratory Open House.
Members of the community, as well as CSUN faculty and staff, are invited to bring their items to Live Oak Hall Room 1-1000 between 3 and 4 p.m. on Thursday, March 5, 12 and 19, to be tested for free. Students will be using alpha, beta and gamma spectrometers to measure for radiation.
“People are excited and worried about radiation contamination,” said Duane Doty, a nuclear physics professor who is overseeing the project. “This is a great way to give students real-life experience working with material and educate the public.”
Doty said some items found in a home may contain radioactivity, but are not hazardous to one’s health, including smoke detectors, some foods and fertilizers. Individuals are also exposed to low doses of radiation when they have an X-ray. However, more dangerous levels of radiation can be found in materials used to construct homes, such as bricks, and collectable pottery and ceramics.
CSUN’s Nuclear Physics Laboratory has been operating for more than 25 years. Physics students have conducted tests on numerous items, including rocks, smoke detectors, old plates and glassware. Based on the tests, they are able to tell how dangerous the objects are and quantify them to create a safer surrounding.
For more information about the free testing, contact Doty at email@example.com or call (818) 677-3362.