Public Release: 

Gamma-Ray Spectrum Catalogues Released On Web

DOE/Idaho National Laboratory

Researchers and scientists working in fields such as health physics, nuclear medicine, bioscience, environmental science and private industry now have access to an on-line reference standard developed at the U. S. Department of Energy's Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory.

The germanium (Ge) Gamma-Ray Spectrum Catalogue, developed by the "Father of Gamma-Ray Spectrometry," the late physicist Russell Heath of the INEEL, is being released free of charge on the Internet.

Since gamma-ray spectrometry is used by scientists in many disciplines to determine what radionuclides are present, this catalogue has broad applications.

Heath's catalogue, originally published in 1974, has since been a widely used resource. Heath's ultimate vision was to make his catalogue available electronically to the scientific community. He was working toward this goal at the time of his death in October, 1997.

Heath's colleagues at the INEEL, physicists Richard Helmer, Robert Gehrke and engineer Jim Davidson, completed Heath's work by updating the Ge Catalogue within a year and making it available in CD-ROM format. From there, it was a simple transition to the Internet.

In the new Ge Catalogue, the spectra have been replotted, color coded and the peaks relabeled. Partial decay schemes have been added, along with tables of current gamma-ray data. Use of Adobe's Acrobat Reader allows access to the catalogue regardless of the computer or operating system used. It also provides the capability to zoom in on small regions of a spectrum, decay scheme or table.

A version of Heath's sodium iodide NaI(TI) Gamma-Ray Spectrum Catalogue has also been included on the Internet. In this case, the spectra have been created by scanning the original 1964 publication.

Both catalogues are available on the INEEL Gamma-Ray Spectrometry Center home page at


The Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory is operated for the U.S. Department of Energy by Lockheed Martin Idaho Technologies Company.

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