Effects of Trace Gases and Water Vapor on the Diffusion Coefficient of Polonium-218

Science  30 Jan 1981:
Vol. 211, Issue 4481, pp. 480-481
DOI: 10.1126/science.211.4481.480


The two-filter method described by Thomas and LeClare was used to investigate the effects of trace concentrations of nitric oxide and nitrogen dioxide in dry nitrogen on the diffusion coefficient of radium A (polonium-218). Charged radium A was neutralized in 10 parts per million (ppm) nitrogen dioxide in dry nitrogen, in 8.3 ppm nitric oxide in dry 92 percent nitrogen and 8 percent oxygen, and in nitrogen with 20 and 80 percent relative humidity. No neutralization was seen in dry nitrogen, dry oxygen, dry air, or 10 ppm nitric oxide in dry nitrogen. The diffusion coefficient of the neutral radium A species was found to be 0.079 square centimeters per second, regardless of the relative humidity of the nitrogen gas atmosphere. Lower values were observed for charged species.