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CHE-362: Nuclear Chemistry Laboratory Course-  Description and Policies

The 9 experiments performed in the CHE-362 laboratory course are designed to familiarize the students with the properties of radioisotopes, their applications in nuclear and radiochemistry, and with the measurements of their radiations by means of various detectors and associated electronic systems. This course is also designed to develop students' scientific writing skills.

Major topics are gamma-ray spectroscopy, beta counting, parent-daughter decay rate relationships, and radiopharmaceutical preparations.

Emphasis will be placed on laboratory safety and on procedures for preventing radiation exposure and contamination. Early in the first week of the program, lectures will be given on proper laboratory practice and radiation safety.

The laboratory and lecture courses are given in parallel. While they are complementary, the order of topics in one does not dovetail well with the order of topics in the other. Thus, it is especially important that you acquire the necessary background information for each experiment beforehand by reading the assigned pages in this manual and in the textbooks listed on below. There will also be brief pre lab and/or post lab sessions to promote understanding of the experiments.

Laboratory Writing Assignments:
Each student will be required to maintain a notebook of raw data. Students will be provided with scientific laboratory notebooks on arrival. Each experiment will have a section on Post-Lab Deliverables which will list required inclusions into the notebook. Additionally, a formal laboratory report will be written by each student. A total of 6 laboratory reports must be handed in for grading - students will be doing 9 laboratory experiments during the program. It will be up to individuals to budget their time to meet this requirement. Each experiment will contain specific guidance in the Post-Lab Deliverables Section on what information should be included in the report. Reports are due by start of class on their respective due dates unless otherwise noted on the laboratory course schedule. A schedule of due dates is provided for CHE-362. Reports should be given to the Teaching Assistants in person. Reports may be handed in up to 24 hours late with a 20% reduction in points. They are graded and handed back in a timely fashion. Notebooks will be collected periodically for grading to ensure students are compiling the required experimental data in an organized fashion.

Each laboratory experiment will include a pre-lab quiz that will be given following the pre-lab lecture, but prior to the start of the lab. There is NO Lab Practical Exam.

The final laboratory grades will be based on:

  • ~ 70% on graded laboratory reports
  • ~ 20% on laboratory preparation (pre-lab quizzes)
  • ~ 10% lab notebook record keeping

Course Locations:
Laboratory exercises are given in Bldg. 801 in Rooms 2-40 (Counting Laboratory) and 2-37 (Chemistry Laboratory). Labs will start 1:00 in the NCSS classroom (Room 2-31) with a ~30 minute lecture, introductory comments and/or quizzes and will then move across the hall to either the Counting Laboratory or Chemistry Laboratory.

Required Texts: (provided by the summer school)

  • Laboratory Manual
  • Chart of the Nuclides
  • Laboratory Notebooks
  • All safety apparel including lab coats, safety glasses and goggles

On Reserve Texts (Room 31, B. 801):

  • Radiation Detection and Measurement, Second Edition, Knoll, Wiley, 1989.
  • Data Reduction and Error Analysis for the Physical Sciences, 3rd ed., Bevington and Robinson, McGraw Hill (2003):  copies in student work area, Rm. 9-203, B. 490, and counting laboratory, Rm. 40, B. 801.
  • A Guide to Microsoft Excel, Second Edition, Liengme, Butterworth and Heinemann (2000):   copies in student work area, Rm. 9-203, B. 490, and counting laboratory, Rm. 40, B. 801.
  • Other references are listed in the individual experiments.           

If you have a question that is not addressed in these pages, please send an email to



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Last update on: March 04, 2015

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