Atomic lamps?


On YouTube I did a serach for NYC railroad films.
One of those films (1950's New York Central Railroad - The Big Train)
described the ongoing research done by the New York Central back in the
50's:
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8:16 into the film they mention a new type railroad lamp (they show a
switch lamp) that could be self-powered by atomic energy and would run for 7
years...
What 'atomic' referred to wasn't explained, but I'm wondering if anyone is
familiar with the process???
Reply to
Chet
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My guess is that it will be a glass tube containing tritium, which is an alpha source, with a phosphor on the inside. These were used in telephone dials in the UK in the 1960's.
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Reply to
newshound
I mean a beta source, of course. That's what comes of typing with the new puppy sitting in my lap....
Reply to
newshound
Not Radium?
Reply to
Tim Wescott
If it were Radium, it would last a lot longer than 7 years. Tritium has a half-life of 12.3 years. A wild-ass guess would be a reduction of intensity of about 30 percent at 7 years. I'd say that would be the replacement point for railroad service.
Reply to
Jim Stewart
do an internet search for "Traser watch" - I have one, 1/2 life about a decade - and very handy
Reply to
Bill Noble
I had a TI LCD watch with Tritium in the liquid. Didn't use a battery to light it up!
Battery was to darken the segments only.
It worked great - alpha particles - the half life got the watch - dimmer and dimmer. Finally the LCD would work but only in the sun. And then it was tricky!
Martin
Tim Wescott wrote:
Reply to
Martin H. Eastburn

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