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Hello from underground :)

Posted: 05 Jul 2018, 07:53
by Alain
Hello to all users!

My name is Alain and I come from Slovenia. The topic of my introduction may seem a bit unserious, but I'm really waving to you from beneath the surface at this moment, seriously. I am situated in a little cave, where I try to build a "shallow underground laboratory for low-level gamma-spectroscopy with a low background". Well, that would be the proper, official term for that, but I would rather say that I simply enjoy the silence of the fairytale underground world, where in the damped, obscure light with many strange shadows, I listen the tranquility of water droplets harmony, which echoes from the stony walls, while I chase the restless atoms to their hiding places and listen their stories...where they come from, how did they come into my samples, who are they, what is their coat of arms...and how long would these honorable guests decide to stay on their mysterious visit, before they wrap themselves with heavy coat of cruel decay, nothing more than final doom, just to quietly transform and vanish into eternity. And I am not alone here, nice little bats, spiders and bugs are my company whenever I miss a real life. It's simply-magic.

I thought a bit unconventional and amusing introduction would be interesting. I've been reading your forum for two or three years and finaly decided to step out of the twilight. As I mentioned, I am simple enthusiast, who had luck to find an old shaft in an abandoned quarry, decided to install electricity and WiFi and start to measure there. I would not make you boring with detail description of my place, I will make that in separate post. I am also trying to excite the youngsters with this field, therefore working as a mentor on our local high school.
My primary interest in gamma spectroscopy is building detectors, enhancing sensitivity of measurements and measuring low-level environmental samples.

I am happy to enjoy your company, a treasury of knowledge and experiences, where I can learn a lot of new, exciting skils. I wish you a pleasant and exciting exploration of hidden new horizons.

Re: Hello from underground :)

Posted: 05 Jul 2018, 09:19
by Steven Sesselmann

Thanks for the poetic introduction :)

Would love to see some photos of your underground man cave, and also learn more about the equipment you are using and what background radiation you find down there.

Keep posting..


Re: Hello from underground :)

Posted: 05 Jul 2018, 12:25
by Alain

Thank you for a warm welcome. I'm glad to finally joined your community :) Regarding a cave, I've prepared some pictures and data, but I will post all these later in a separate topic, when all data will be collected and put in order. But for the beginning, I can offer you a small "cookie" - MDA of my (quite basic, if not primitive) setup is currently 0,025 Bq of Cs-137 (or 25 mBq, to confirm), which corrresponds to 5 Bq/kg of specific activity of the sample, at best (5 g of sample). About the details - later...

Re: Hello from underground :)

Posted: 08 Jul 2018, 01:59
by pilgrim
Fantastic introduction Alain! Very impressive!
If I were you I would be frightened from that place, I would be afraid to met Samara Morgan! :-):-):-)

Seriously, I would fear the humidity : the enemy n°1 for electronic instruments!

Re: Hello from underground :)

Posted: 08 Jul 2018, 06:48
by Alain
Thank you Daniel, you are welcome:)

I don't know who Samara Morgan is, but obviously not a nice person;) Well, everybody has its own personal fears and demons (me either) and in a such isolated environment he has to face it. From my experience the most scaring thing in my cave is sudden mini-tremor (like a small earthquake) - you hear strange noise, squeaking, murmuring and feel vibrations, like the whole mountain would wake up. I now understand our ancestors, miners, who created all those fabulous and fairy-tale creatures from their imagination in misteryous underground world (most famous in our country is "perkmandelc" - some sort of mountain leprechaun). That tremors are a consequence of liberating of internal pressures, fractures and shifts in the mountain and also some internal chamber colapsing (a known carst phenomena in limestone rocks) . Then you aware, how small and helpless you are, a little and fragile human being, deep underground in a big mountain. And you feel even more respect to mother Nature. But all this doesn't prevent me to sleep there from time to time - long measurements and calibrations tend to be exhaustive sometimes ;) It is unusual experience - very relaxing in total darkness and tranquility, you hear only water droplets which echoes, like a lullaby:)

Regarding moisture and electronics - everything sensitive is in a special cabinet, tight and with proper climatic conditions, problem solved;) I will post some detailed description with photos in future posts.

Re: Hello from underground :)

Posted: 08 Jul 2018, 21:50
by pilgrim
This place must be very suggestive...
Looking forward to see some pictures of it!