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Alpha Particle Spark Detector Kit

To demonstrate the detection of alpha particles.

alpha particle spark detector
Images Alpha Particle Spark Detector allows one to see the detection of alpha particles. It demonstrates the electronic detection of radioactive alpha particles. In addition by using a plain sheet of paper one can demonstrate the shielding of radioactive particles by an absorber.

This alpha particle spark detector utilizes a 8000 volt negatively-charged electrode and thin diameter copper wires connected to ground that are strung through the air approximately 0.1" above the electrode. When an alpha particle passes in-between the wire and the electrode it ionizes the air between. The high voltage potential between the wires and the electrode causes an avalanche effect that we see as an electrical discharge between the wires and the electrode.

This detector is only sensitive to alpha (α) particles, and will not detect beta(β), X-ray or gamma(γ) radiation.

Alpha particle source not included. Alpha particle sources must be purchased separately.

Schematic Drawing

APSD - $265.00

Alpha Particle Spark Detector assembled

Alpha Particle Radioactive Source

Description Activity Half-Life Item# Price
250 uCi
138 days
500 uCi
138 days
Primary Radiation Type
Energies KeV
Secondary Radiation Type(s)
Alpha (α)

Size approximately 7/8" x 1.0" X 0.25"
Polonium 210 250 uCi bottom Polonium 210 500 uCi bottom
250 uCi Alpha Source 500 uCi Alpha Source

Alpha Particle Source Information

More Radioactive Source Types

PO-210-250 - $101.50 

Polonium 210 250 u Ci Source 

PO-210-500 - $146.50 

Polonium 210 500 uCi Source 

* Not available for export
* All Radioisotope & Uranium Ore orders are shipped via EMS. Except orders going to Canada, which are shipped FedEx Economy. Call or email for pricing.


Adjustable Negative High Voltage Power Supply Alpha Particle Components - 510 Ohm Resistor, 500 pf Capacitor, 10K Diode

Alpha Particle Spark Detector Components 

APSD-PCB-55 - $20.00 

Top and Bottom PC Boards Only 

HVT-07 - $74.95 

Adjustable Negative High Voltage Power Supply 

CW-003 - $2.50 

.003 Copper Wire (36") 

TW-003 - $4.00 

.003 Tungsten Wire (36") 

DI-6K - $1.00 

Standard HV Diode 6KV 

CAP-560pf-2.5KV - $1.00 

2.5 KV 500 pf Capacitor 

RES-510-5W - $1.00 

510 Ohm Resistor 5 Watt