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Robert Del Tredici - At Work in the Fields of the Bomb

39. Particle of Plutonium

The black star in the middle of the picture shows the tracks made by alpha rays emitted from a particle of pllutonium-239 in the lung tissue of an ape. The alpha rays do not travel very far, but once inside the body, they can penetrate more than 10,000 cells within their range. This set of alpha tracks (magnified 500 times) occurred over a 48-hour period. The plutonium particle that emitted them has a half-life of 24,000 years. Lawrence Radiation Laboratory, Berkeley, California. September 20, 1982.

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Text and pictures put online with permission of author.
All text and picture is © Copyright Robert del Tredici.