Open menu

Radioactive source - Electric charge displacement and definition of electric current

The purpose of this experiment is to demonstrate again the incompatibility between electric charge movement and electric current concepts.
For the experiment the most common sources to be used are those of alpha and beta radiation; or a proton source for those who have one in their laboratory.
With any of these sources an experiment setup like in fig 1 is formed. In few words, the radioactive source generates electric charges (electrons or positive charges). These charges are directed on a charge collector (metallic foil around the radioactive source). From this collector, they pass through a circuit and after that are discharged at a null point (Earth connection).
According to actual electromagnetism, these radioactive source should produce a ,,real” electric current. The experiment was performed only with a beta radioactive source which emits electrons (secondary gamma radiation is not relevant for the experiment).
So, a beta source is surrounded by a box of metal conductor layer able to catch all emitted electrons and this is further connected to an electrolytic cell. The other electrode of the electrolytic cell is connected to a null point (Earth or a water pipe).


Figure 1 Charge displacement and electric current
As far in my experiments a small source of beta radiation was used, we have to use the same special microelectrodes chambers for electrolysis as described in Cathode ray tube experiment.
In our experiment acidulate (H2SO4) water solution is used in electrolytic cell. The water electrolysis was used in order to have a comparison between volume of gas released at anode and cathode. As far the volume of gas released is small and the time of experiment is long, I have used this chemical process in order to avoid a bias due to a possible gas release coming from the existent gas dissolved in solution. In case of another cell composition, when gas is released only at one electrode there are necessary some preliminary steps (degassing), and a more careful interpretation. 
Having in mind the size of supposed ,,current” produced by a CRT, and consequently the volume of gas released at electrodes, some adjustments are necessary for a successful experiment.
The electrodes, made by platinum metal are gloved in two pipettes parts and sealed in flame. As is observed (fig. 2) around electrodes a space with a volume of about 0,1 ml is formed. Before experiment starting, using micropipettes these chambers are filled with acidulated water coming from electrolytic cell. These filled electrodes are introduced in an electrolytic cell with care in order to avoid a gas intrusion into electrode chamber. If a process of electrolysis takes place, the released gas will go up in the chamber and will push the liquid down. In order to be more evident this fluid displacement, in water a small quantity of colorant or a chemical indicator is added (in our example rot phenol).  
The accumulation of gas is cumulative for long time (the chamber is well sealed), even the current will be on micro ampere size.

A 60Co TELETHERAPY source with actual characteristic 400 Tbq (~10,8 kCi)  is used in the experiment.

As is well known 1 Ci = is equivalent with   3,7 x 10exp(10)  desintegrations per second and this means our source will emit a number of electrons equal with:

N = 10800x3,7 x 10exp(10)  =  0,37 x 10exp(15) electrons  per second

The total charge generated by this source in a second:

Q = N*e =  0,37 x 10exp(15)x1,6 x 10 exp(-19) = 0,59 x 10exp(-4) C=59 microC

In a day with the up presented setup, through electrolytic cell a total charge equal of:

Q` (day) = Qx24x3600 =5,09 C  

So it is supposed that a common radioactive source used in Cancer therapy has to generate similar effects like an electric current of 5,09C.

The time for experiment was an entire weekend and no gas was observed in the electrodes chambers.

The entire charge passing through electrolytic cell was about 13 C.

By comparison two chemical batteries (1,5V) connected in series for 5 minutes, gave a current of 0,89 mA and in electrodes chamber both hydrogen and oxygen are produced as in fig. 2.


Figure 2 Minielectrodes and detail of gas release after few minutes of electrolysis with a chemical source

As is observed, at one electrode a double volume (hydrogen) is released, in comparison with the other electrode (oxygen).

In a time of 90 s and with an intensity of 0,89  mA, through circuit passes a charge equal with:

Q=I*t = 0,89x10(-3)x300 =2,5 C

As is observed, a charge less then 2,5 C is more then enough to observe the effects of an electric current.

In proposed theory (and in reality) a charge displacement is not synonym with an electric current. A radioactive source can generate an charge displacement, but the well known effects of ,,normalʼʼ electric current are missing.  These ,,false electric currents” does not produce magnetic and chemical manifestations like well known electric currents produced by a chemical source.
If the result is negative for beta sources, which emits electrons, anyone can imagine what the result of experiment is if protons or alfa particles are collected and passed through electrolytic cell. It is absurd to imagine at least, that protons or alfa particles ,,can” produce chemical effects in a electrolytic cell as actual electrodynamics accept.