Logo of the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt

7th LSC User Meeting at PTB


On 10-11 May 2012, the German-speaking LSC user meeting took place at the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt in Braunschweig for what was already the 7th time. This event, which has been organized on an annual basis since 2004, is mainly dedicated to the exchange of information in the field of liquid scintillation counting - one of the most important detection procedures for radioactivity.

As an introduction to the event, Dr. Herbert Janßen held a speech entitled "100 Years of Radioactivity at the PTR/PTB" and introduced PTB's "Ionizing Radiation" Department. He pointed out that, early on, Hans Geiger had used scintillation detectors when he, together with Ernest Rutherford, did research on the scattering of alpha-particles by means of zinc sulphide screens in Manchester. Hans Geiger joined the Physikalisch-Technische Reichsanstalt in 1912 - 100 years ago - and became the first director of the Radioactivity Laboratory. A short time later, he was supported in his work by Nobel Prize winner Walther Bothe.

Ten presentations were held during the meeting. These often revolved around the topic of metrology, but also the tedious laboratory work which is necessary to prepare test samples, e.g. from sludge or freshwater fish, was the object of some interesting contributions.

One of the topics focused on new developments in the field of the TDCR method (TDCR = triple-to-double-coincidence ratio). In this context, PTB scientists presented a newly developed measuring system as well as extended analysis procedures.

Furthermore, the meeting provided the participants with the opportunity to obtain information at the information stands of 4 companies for measuring instruments and laboratory equipment. Also PTB's "Unit of Activity" Working Group presented its services as well as its abundant scientific work. In addition, the "Radioactivity" Department opened the doors to its laboratory facilities. The participants could thus see which apparatus is used by the PTB staff to determine activity - hereby often achieving the lowest uncertainties worldwide.

Similarly to previous LSC user meetings, there was enough time for discussions and questions. More specifically the advantages and disadvantages of commercial measuring systems were discussed, and special requests and suggestions were passed on to the manufacturers.

Many participants emphasized how useful the meeting had been for them and expressed the wish that such meetings be organized also in the future. All were thus happy to hear that the 8th LSC user meeting would very probably take place in Tübingen in September 2013.