Radon analytical systems for field and laboratory work in teaching and research
in earth sciences, mining engineering, health physics, biology, environment, radiochemistry
radon - radium - thoron - radon daughters - alpha - beta - gamma

Proposed course modules
  • Alpha, beta and gamma radiation.
  • Decay of thoron and growth of radon daughters in the lucas cell within the first few minutes.
  • Growth in a period of a week or two of radon in solution in water over radium-bearing crushed rock, soil, sediment or organic matter.
  • Statistical variation of count rates.
  • Decay of radon on solution in water over a period of a week or two.
  • Measurement of radon daughters.

  • We provide all the instruments necessary for this teaching and research, as well as training and guidance, complete turnkey systems for well under $20,000. In the radon business since 1968, our latest major instrument update was 2011.
    For instruments contact
    R.H. Morse & Associates Ltd.
    skype: robert.morse.toronto
  • Radon and thoron can be derived by crushing ore (or sub-ore grade) samples. We can also provide standard samples.
  • Click here for derivation of the formulas for radioactive decay and growth to secular equilibrium of radioactive daughter products.
  • In the uranium and thorium decay series, the amount of a particular nuclide present at any given time after the parent is separated from the rest of the series can be calculated by solving a set of equations derived by Bateman (see Kaplan, Irving, 1962: Nuclear Physics, 2nd edition).
Proposed research projects
  • Take up of radium by various organisms.
    I have found it easy to determine radium in plants growing in a uranium-mine tailings pond. Our techniques are very sensitive to radon and radium and would probably prove useful even in areas of normal radioactive content (we have even detected radon in snow!).

    Place the untreated plant parts in a jar filled with water and allow the radon to grow in to solution in the water. The half-life for equilibrium is 3.8 days. Then measure the radon in water in the usual way. Treating the plant parts by ashing or chemical attack might be useful.
  • Explanation of wide variation of uranium-radium ratios in lake sediments.
    In terms of U ppm over Ra pCi/g the global ratio, or the ratio in old rocks, is 2.7. This is the ratio found in lake sediments at Bancroft. In the Baker Lake and other sub-Arctic areas it is 60-125.
  • Quantification of temporal variation of radon in soil gas and correlation with other variables.
  • Critical evaluation of the role of radon and radon/thoron ratios in exploration for hydrocarbon fields and NAPL contamination.
    This requires a thorough understanding of the local geology. A good place to start might be at a location where other geochemical methods are useful.
  • Develop a computer program for solving the Bateman equations for the uranium and thorium decay series.
    I solved these equations for the uranium decay series in 1969, without a computer (Morse, Robert Harold, 1970: The surficial geochemistry of radium, radon and uranium near Bancroft, Ontario with applications to prospecting for uranium, Ph.D. thesis, Queen's University, Kingston Ontario). Click here for results. This program might also prove useful in evaluating the growth of solid alpha-emitting radon daughters, polonium-218 and polonium-214, in the Lucas cell.
  • Evaluate of the role of radon and radon/thoron ratios in exploration for groundwater resources.
    There are unpublished claims of successful application of radon geochemistry to groundwater exploration. I am looking for more details and will update this website when I find some more.
  • Evaluate of the role of radon and radon-thoron ratios in exploration for rare earth deposits.
    Many commercial rare-earth deposits contain substantial uranium values, and some important producers have been discovered by prospectors looking for uranium. Radon techniques used for uranium exploration should also be useful for rare earths.
  • Critical evaluation of the role of radon and radon-thoron ratios in earthquake prediction.
    There is extensive literature in this field.
Click here for studies of radon in uranium and hydrocarbon exploration

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