Facilities and Equipment:

Last revised: 06 December, 2004

The Schaefer Environmental Radiation Laboratory (SERL) is a cluster of a rooms within the Physics Department that contain instruments for measuring radon, environmental sampling, and spectroscopy systems for alpha and gamma radiation. This facility is dedicated to the spirit of Thomas O. Schaefer, SJU '81. Tom's pioneering senior thesis work on the gamma spectra of outdoor radioactive particulates opened an era of collaborative research on environmental radiation by students and Dr.Steck . Employing hard work, dedication, and initiative, Tom built both a useful detection system and a tradition. Tom, a Marine pilot, died in a military aircraft accident in 1984. This facility was dedicated to his memory in 1985. Most of the research activity of the Minnesota Radon Project (MRP) is conducted in this facility.

    Since we're physicists, we tend to enjoy developing and using instruments that are sometimes more sophisticated than needed for "typical" radon measurements. We have some sophisticated alpha and gamma spectrometers for low level radioanalytic analysis. But we also have radiation detection systems that are inexpensive and low tech, like track registration radon and radon progeny monitors (see Getting Tested).

Radon and Progeny Concentrations:

We maintain a calibration of these monitors through the annual intercomparison exercises conducted by calibrated government and private radon chambers.

Radon transport in soil characterization:


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Last revised : 06 December, 2004 

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