Letter | Published:

Measurement of the Thorium Content of Natural Materials by a γ-Ray Counting Method

Naturevolume 191pages6263 (1961) | Download Citation



RECENT work by S. Raboy and C. C. Traul1 on the background of sodium iodide scintillation counters suggested to us that it should be possible to measure the thorium content of a rock directly by counting the 2.62 MeV. γ-ray emitted in the decay of thorium C″ (208Tl) to stable lead-208, since this γ-ray is more energetic than any in the uranium series. Through the generosity of the American Government a large sodium iodide crystal and suitable photomultiplier and the necessary electronic equipment were available to us to try out the method.

Access optionsAccess options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.


  1. 1

    Raboy, S., and Traul, C. C., Nuc. Inst. and Methods, 9, 145 (1960).

  2. 2

    Van Oostrum, K. J., and Meijer, A. C., Nuc. Inst. and Methods, 10, 31 (1961).

  3. 3

    Picciotto, E., and Wilgain, S., Nature, 173, 632 (1954).

  4. 4

    Hurley, P. M., Bull. Geol. Soc. Amer., 67, 395 (1956).

Download references

Author information


  1. Physical Laboratory, Trinity College, Dublin

    • J. H. J. POOLE
    •  & F. N. BYRNE


  1. Search for J. H. J. POOLE in:

  2. Search for F. N. BYRNE in:

About this article

Publication history

Issue Date



Further reading


By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.