Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)




The Physics Department at South Dakota State University has recently been able to expand its facilities for beta and gamma ray spectroscopy. In the expansion two solid state detectors and a multichannel analyzer were acquired, along with a quantity of supporting electronics. In the first two chapters of this work much of the new spectroscopy equipment is examined in detail. The first chapter is devoted to the solid state detectors. A brief description of the operation and construction of the detectors is given, followed by a more detailed discussion of the capability of the lithium drifted germanium detector. The second chapter describes the operation of several of the major electrical components, including the multichannel analyzer. In the second part of Chapter II, the experimental results from testing the capability of the basic spectroscopy system are reported. Chapter III considers possible applications of the present spectroscopy system to activation analysis. Initial steps to evaluate the feasibility of developing activation analysis into a useful analytical tool at S.D.S.U. are described. The progress of efforts to produce and identify an isotope of gadolinium with an atomic mass number 162 is reported in Chapter IV. Similar research to produce and identify a new isotope of ytterbium with atomic mass number 178 is also presented.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Gamma rays
Spectrum analysis
Crystal detectors



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University