ORNL Ring Film Badge (ca. 1950 - 1955)

This ring badge was developed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and manufactured by the Patent Button Company of Knoxville Tennessee . The film (DuPont 502) is sandwiched between two 1 mm thick cadmium disks with a small hole in their centers. The plastic screw-on cover is sufficiently thin (ca. 0.5 mm thick) that the center of the film will respond to betas as well as gamma rays and x-rays. The following is written on the perimeter of the ring cover: “Hand Exposure Meter – O.R.N.L. – A.E.C.-“


The film itself is energy independent above 200 keV or so. In other words, the measurements will be accurate above this energy. From 50 to 200 keV the film over-responds, and below 5 keV it under-responds. The purpose of the cadmium disk is to reduce the over-response to low energy photons. The problem is that the cadmium also eliminates the very lowest energy photons. Hence the hole: to allow enough low energy photons through to the film to compensate.


Morgan, K.Z., unpublished mauscript, “Health Control and Nuclear Research”, ca. 1952.

Donated by Ron Kathren

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Last updated: 07/25/07
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