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Old 02-08-2007, 08:25 PM #1
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Default Tritium Light sources

I Ordered a "Tritium" light keyring whilst on a website to order some Glowsticks for my daughters birthday party this weekend, and it arrived today.

I am totally Fascinated with it. Initially I was a little disappointed, but with Dark adapted Eyesight the glow is very surreal and very apparant, I have the blue version. I believe, Orange, pink and green are also available. It will continue to glow , gradually getting dimmer for up to 20 years with no outside stimulation source required.

For those not aquainted with the technology behind it, I will try and explain. Tritium is a radioactive isotope of hydrogen with a half life of about 12.5 years. It is produced artificially in Nuclear reactors and naturally to some extent in the upper atmosphere by the bombardment of hydrogen atoms by cosmic rays. Its primary use by mankind until recently along with Lithium Isotopes was the main fusion fuel for thermonuclear weapons, and thus is strictly controlled.

The Tritium lightsource works as follows. Tritium gas produced in a Nuclear reactor is injected into a phosphorous lined small borosilicate glass vial then laser sealed and set into a shaped piece of optical polycarbonate plastic. The Tritium Atoms beta decay into Helium 3 and thus release an Electron which collides with the phospher coating of the glass vial causing a flourescence and this is what causes the glow.

The low energy Beta radiation cannot penetrate human skin so its not considered a hazard unless the gas is inhaled or ingested, yet certian european countries have banned Tritiums use as a light source.

I am guessing that all of you who love lasers would love this too, a nuclear powered lightsource in the palm of your hand
I managed to get some nice Dark Macro photos of the glass vial, and will post the link to them on Imageshack when i reach my 20 posts mark

Jase


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Old 02-08-2007, 08:30 PM #2
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Default Re: Tritium Light sources

Post the photos! I want too see!!!
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Old 02-08-2007, 08:38 PM #3
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Default Re: Tritium Light sources

Lol I cant link my Host site until I reach 20 posts, and I dont wanna spam ;


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Old 02-08-2007, 08:43 PM #4
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Default Re: Tritium Light sources

Here's what he means.
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Old 02-08-2007, 08:43 PM #5
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Default Re: Tritium Light sources

Green
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Old 02-08-2007, 08:44 PM #6
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Default Re: Tritium Light sources

pink
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Old 02-08-2007, 08:45 PM #7
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Default Re: Tritium Light sources

Thanks TL thats the one , Though dont be fooled, you dont get that much light for free. The internal Glass Vial is about 20mm long in RL and the glow is a passive one as opposed to the vibrant one shown in TL piccies, but none the less, I am still transfixed by mine.

Jase
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Old 02-08-2007, 08:47 PM #8
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Default Re: Tritium Light sources

Okay - THOSE rock !!! I saw them first on CPF - and then when I met Windstrings - he has a ton of them ! I want them !!!! Post the cheapest sources to purchase these awesome little buggers !!! Who knows....maybe next contest, someone could win one of these ? LOL !!!
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Old 02-08-2007, 08:53 PM #9
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Default Re: Tritium Light sources

They cost 9.95 each here in the UK so let me know what they are in the US
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Old 02-08-2007, 08:55 PM #10
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Default Re: Tritium Light sources

9 single in UK ($18) no idea about bulk

Jase
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