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Radioactive light signs

Radioactive light signs

V900/0142

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Credit

PUBLIC HEALTH ENGLAND / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY PUBLIC HEALTH ENGLAND / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Radioactive light signs. These historical signs have self-powered lighting, where they emit light without requiring an external power source. They work by using a radioactive source that undergoes beta decay. Beta decay is a process where unstable isotopes (atoms that vary in their neutron number) transform into more stable isotopes. During this process, they release energy in the form of beta particles. The emitted beta particles are used as the energy source for these signs. The two main sources of beta lighting were radium and tritium. See V900/143 for an image of these signs in the dark.

Release details

Model release not required. Property release not required.

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