Spring 2024 - NUSC 346 D100

Radiochemistry Laboratory (3)

Class Number: 1830

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Jan 8 – Apr 12, 2024: Mon, Fri, 10:30–11:20 a.m.

  • Instructor:

    Krzysztof Starosta
    1 778 782-8861
    Office: SCC9041
  • Prerequisites:

    NUSC 341 with a minimum grade of C-.



Introduction to the techniques of radiochemistry; proportional and Geiger counters; sample preparations and half-life measurement; synthesis and separation of labelled compounds; beta and gamma-ray spectroscopy. Quantitative.


Please note, this course outline was accurate at the time of publication but is subject to change.

Mode of Teaching:
1 lecture hour/week (Mondays 10:30-11:20am); 4 lab hours/week
Lecture: In-person at Burnaby campus
Laboratory: In-person at Burnaby campus

General Course Description:
Introduction to the techniques of radiochemistry; counting techniques, sample preparations and half-life measurements; use of radioactive tracers; alpha, beta and gamma-ray spectroscopy; techniques related to nuclear processes.

Students are required to perform the first nine experiments listed below. The last two experiments consist of lecture/demonstration and some data collection in groups. A written report corresponding to each experiment is to be submitted within two weeks of performance of that experiment.

Week Experiment Topics
1 No Exp. Radiation Safety - Information Session
2 Exp. 1 Introduction to Radiation Detectors
3 Exp. 2 Statistical Aspects of Nuclear Decay
4 Exp. 3 Preparation of Radioactive Sources; Beta Back-Scattering
5 Exp. 4 Self-Absorption
6 Exp. 5 Isotope Dilution. Quantitative Determination of Zinc
7 Exp. 6 Quantitative Determination of Cobalt
8 Exp. 7 Fast Radiochemical Separation: Transient and Secular Equilibrium
9 Exp. 8 Liquid Scintillation Counting and Quench Correction
10 Exp. 9 Exchange Kinetics Through Ion-Selective Membrane Using a Radioactive Label
11   Exp. 10 Preparation of a Thin Alpha Source


  • Laboratory Reports 85%
  • Laboratory Notebook 5%
  • Performance during Experimental Work 10%


There will be no final exam.



  • Lab coats and safety glasses/goggles are mandatory for all NUSC labs.
  • A laboratory manual with full descriptions of experiments will be provided.


G. Choppin, J-O. Liljenzin & J. Rydberg. Radiochemistry and Nuclear Chemistry. 4th Edition. 2013. Publisher: Academic Press.

Available free from the SFU Library: https://sfu-primo.hosted.exlibrisgroup.com/permalink/f/15tu09f/01SFUL_ALMA51348105890003611


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Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity website http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating. Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

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Students with a faith background who may need accommodations during the term are encouraged to assess their needs as soon as possible and review the Multifaith religious accommodations website. The page outlines ways they begin working toward an accommodation and ensure solutions can be reached in a timely fashion.