Beryllium 7 dating
In recent years the panicked cry has gone up about US dependence upon foreigners for supply of the most strategic metals used in high tech and/or defence applications.
However there is one metal that the US has a stranglehold on and it is Beryllium.
It decays by electron capture, and the only radiation produced in sufficient yield to be useful in measurement is a gamma ray, about 478 ke V in energy and with a yield of 0.103 gammas per disintegration of the Be.
In structural applications, high flexural rigidity, thermal stability, thermal conductivity and low density (1.85 times that of water) make beryllium a sought-after aerospace material for high-speed aircraft, missiles, spacecraft, and communication satellites.
Because of its low density and atomic mass, beryllium is relatively transparent to X-rays and other forms of ionizing radiation; therefore, it is the most common window material for X-ray equipment and in particle physics experiments.
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