Bubble Detector

Inducted In: 2022, Featured, Health, Public Safety

Induction year:
Inducted individuals:
Dr. Harry Ing
Inducted organizations:
Bubble Technology Industries

Canada’s Bubble Technology Industries (BTI) created the Bubble Detector to detect and record levels of neutron radiation exposure to humans. The detector is a small vial about the size of your thumb. It is small enough and portable enough to be worn by astronauts while in space. In addition to its space applications, the Bubble Detector has many industrial and medical uses. Areas include nuclear facilities, hospitals, research labs, and military applications.

The detector itself is a transparent vial filled with a clear polymer gel that contains liquid droplets. Whenever the liquid is hit by a high-energy neutron particle, the impacted droplet vaporizes and leaves behind a detectable bubble suspended in the gel. By counting the number of bubbles in the vial, you can determine the amount of neutron radiation that the wearer has been exposed to.

The bubbles are visible to the eye and can be counted manually. BTI has also developed a Bubble Detector reader which automates the analysis. The detectors are reusable – the bubbles can be forced back into solution by placing the vials into a compression chamber.

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