[ RadSafe ] Rb-87 Atomic Clocks

Elsa Nimmo enimmo at berkeley.edu
Wed Jul 27 16:27:06 CDT 2011



I find myself needing some information on atomic clocks.  And even though we
have people on campus who worked on related research, their concerns were
different ones & they're not able to help.


The rubidium version of an atomic clock appears to contain small amounts of
Rb-87 (approx. 49 billion-year half life).   


Does anyone know whether there were rubidium atomic clocks (e.g.versions of
type used by astronomers in past decades) that would contain activities
above 10 microcuries Rb-87?


California regulations set 10 microcuries as the exempt quantity for Rb-87.
I've seen one atomic clock manufacturer's data sheet noting at total Rb-87
activity of less than 0.0002 microcuries in their current products.






Elsa Nimmo, CHP

Alternate Radiation Safety Officer


Environment, Health & Safety

University of California, Berkeley

317 University Hall, Mail Stop 1150

Berkeley, CA 94720-1150

enimmo at berkeley.edu


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