Lava Stone Pendant - Thorium 232

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Go-Figure
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Lava Stone Pendant - Thorium 232

Post by Go-Figure » 08 Jul 2019, 01:38

Hello Folks,
And now for something completely different…
Some time ago a person in my friendlist shared this object on FB. Another case of pseudoscience nonsense. I decided not to comment but I went and checked it out online.
The amount of nonsense is breathtaking. This pendant, which in other versions is sold with the name “quantum pendant” is supposed to boost confidence, strengthen the immune system, reduce stress, protect from electromagnetic fields and….reverse aging (believe it or not it’s actually what’s written inside). All thanks to “scalar energy” which of course is not even a thing. All energy is a scalar, but “scalar energy” means nothing.
Then I noticed besides electromagnetic fields this pendant is supposed to also shield you from radiation (I know, that’s a joke), but in the description it says it’s made of volcanic rock, or “lava stone”. When you read “volcanic” you think “likely radioactive”. What if this thing, which is sold as a radiation shield, is itself radioactive?
So I made some research and I found I wasn’t the only one who thought that. Some already showed the object is indeed radioactive, but the spectra I saw weren’t so clear, probably the background was not subtracted.

So I decided to get one and look into it. I choose one among those with more reviews on Amazon.com This one has an excess of 130 review, averaging 4 stars, which is just sad.
It took me days to finally click on the “buy” button, because you don’t want to finance such things, but I’ll make sure to share this with as many people as I can. The video with the Geiger counter “singing” once it gets close to the object will go straight on my Amazon review, so hopefully there will a “net gain” in the end.
Now that I have a “reverse aging” device I have plenty of time to do that….

Ok, enough preambles.
The pendant gives around 1000 CPM with my Geiger counter, almost 20 times my background, but most of it is alphas and betas.
The spectrum reveals there’s Thorium 232 inside and its decay progeny is clearly visible. Gamma activity isn’t that much, just 60 CPS which is less than a quarter of my background, on the other hand the average energy per count is higher than my background therefore in terms of exposure is a little less than 1/3 of my background at 1cm distance (when it's worn it's at contact so it will be a bit more than that). Not really much radioactive, but still no reason to keep it on your skin 24/7 as a radiation protection…

Given the low activity I recorded a 24 hours spectrum with background subtraction. Recording over such a long time (36 hours actually including the 12 hour background) I noticed some small drift in some of the peaks, particularly in the Ac228 peaks at 911 and 964 keV and the K40 peak from the background.
Identification is generally pretty straightforward, with a couple of exceptions:
Around 1100 keV there’s a peak that could be more or less consistent with Bi214 (1120 keV) , but there are no other convincing elements to think there’s Uranium in the object. Around 600 keV the Tl208 peak at 583 keV is clearly there, but no sign of Bi214 at 609 keV, therefore I see no reason to think Bi214 is responsible for the 1100 keV peak, also because it's about 20 keV to weak.

Another peak I cannot identify is the one around 1400 keV. It might be the product of the slight thermal drift of K40 peak happened between the recording of the background spectrum and that of the sample, but the drift appears to me to be too small to justify that.
Could it be K40 in the sample? Maybe, but the peak is a bit too “south” for that explanation to be convincing, it’s centred at 1410 keV, some 35 keV lower than the K40 peak from the background detected while recording this very spectrum.

So I left those two peaks unlabelled.
I also have a peak (better, a Gaussian correlation) at 130 keV, which is consistent with Ac228 peak at 129.06 keV. I know Ac228 is there, so I called it, that’s the first time I identify this peak.

Spectrum is presented in counts per bin and energy per bin and for both there are two views, the only difference is the scale factor in the x-axis, the first gives more details at lower energy, the second includes the Tl208 peak at 2,6 MeV.
Btw the Ac228 peak at 1588 keV is reinforced by the double escape peak.

Also, looking for the 130 keV Ac228 peak in this spectrum I think I might have identified another peak at 130-133 keV which shows up in all my background spectra and it’s probably from Protactinium 234.

So that’s it for the nonsense pendant, a totally useless object to own, but an interesting sample to test nevertheless.

Better samples are on the way.

Massimo
Attachments
Lava Stone Pendant@0.0Net - ID - 24 Hours - BG Subtraction - Counts x Bin - No Shield - 0.040 Clean - 06-07-19.png
Lava Stone Pendant@0.0Net - ID - 24 Hours - BG Subtraction - Energy x Bin - No Shield - 0.040 Clean - 06-07-19.png
Lava Stone Pendant@0.0Net - ID - 24 Hours - BG Subtraction - Counts x Bin - No Shield - 0.060 Clean - 06-07-19.png
Lava Stone Pendant@0.0Net - ID - 24 Hours - BG Subtraction - Energy x Bin - No Shield - 0.060 Clean - 06-07-19.png
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DSC05571-R.jpg
DSC05572-R.jpg
Spectrum Analysis 24 Hours @ 0.0 Net - 06-07-19-001.jpg
Last edited by Go-Figure on 08 Jul 2019, 05:40, edited 2 times in total.

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Peter-1
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Re: Lava Stone Pendant - Thorium 232

Post by Peter-1 » 08 Jul 2019, 02:14

Hi Massimo,
that's great fun. I'm feeling much better by laughing. and so you stay young and do not age.
In January, I saw the part and wanted to know how strong it radiates and whether Thorium is clearly visible.
Here is my result. Background 15.7 CPS , with Quantum P. i have 53.8 CPS.
Peter
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gwgw
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Re: Lava Stone Pendant - Thorium 232

Post by gwgw » 08 Jul 2019, 03:03

I remember having a good laugh at a "quantum pendant" ad once. The first thing was that "Chi-Ki-Bio" energy (which in my language sounds suspiciously related to errrr...."jerking off" so...uhm well I guess they didn't mean masturbation energy after all). It went on, claiming the device emits far-infrared light because of the germanium it contained - and the far IR is proven to be healthy. It also claimed that if you put the pendant in the fridge, it would prevent your food from ever going bad. They advised buying several of them and then place them in your bed - yes, you guessed correct - because they cure insomnia, the more of them, the better. And you also have to keep it close to lymph nodes, the spine and the neck to achieve optimal effect - considering its radioactivity it sounds a bit evil.
Regards,
Milen Rangelov

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Go-Figure
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Re: Lava Stone Pendant - Thorium 232

Post by Go-Figure » 10 Jul 2019, 06:10

Peter-1 wrote:
08 Jul 2019, 02:14
Hi Massimo,
that's great fun. I'm feeling much better by laughing. and so you stay young and do not age.
Why limiting yourself to stop aging when you can reverse it? :D
I remember having a good laugh at a "quantum pendant" ad once. The first thing was that "Chi-Ki-Bio" energy (which in my language sounds suspiciously related to errrr...."jerking off" so...uhm well I guess they didn't mean masturbation energy after all). It went on, claiming the device emits far-infrared light because of the germanium it contained - and the far IR is proven to be healthy. It also claimed that if you put the pendant in the fridge, it would prevent your food from ever going bad. They advised buying several of them and then place them in your bed - yes, you guessed correct - because they cure insomnia, the more of them, the better. And you also have to keep it close to lymph nodes, the spine and the neck to achieve optimal effect - considering its radioactivity it sounds a bit evil.
Yeah, the "scary" thing is reading the reviews and seeing how many people believe this nonsense.
I posted mine which has been put online this morning with a 90 seconds video of my geiger starting quite, then "singing" once it gets close to the pendant, and then getting quite again as soon as I took it away.
I could have claimed the reading of the geiger was roughly 15-20 times my background, but having done the spectrum I know most of it is alphas and betas, so I've been honest about. Still hopefully for once fear of radiation can do some good.
Here's the link to the review on Amazon.com https://www.amazon.com/gp/customer-revi ... B071YD9TZR

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