The Creation of Low Activity Mössbauer Sources for Undergraduate Research
An experimental test of general relativity can be made using the transverse Doppler effect. The design of the experiment conducted at Houghton College has entailed the development of low activity Mössbauer sources. These low activity sources are made out of small amounts (less than 1 ?Ci) of 57Co that are electroplated onto thin steel foils (0.0254 mm) and heated to 1000°C in a vacuum. The use of these weak sources should be possible with coincidence techniques to reduce the background rate. A rotating disk absorber will be used for longitudinal Doppler effect tests prior to developing the transverse Doppler effect apparatus. A procedure for creating low activity Mössbauer sources has been developed, including three methods to measure the source activity, and an experimental apparatus for demonstrating the longitudinal Doppler effect.
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