# Cal Poly Pomona PHY 432L - Geiger Counter Experiments and The Statistics of Nuclear Decay (6 pages)

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## Geiger Counter Experiments and The Statistics of Nuclear Decay

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## Geiger Counter Experiments and The Statistics of Nuclear Decay

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Pages:
6
School:
California State Polytechnic University, Pomona
Course:
Phy 432l - Nuclear Physics Laboratory
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Geiger Counter Experiments and The Statistics of Nuclear Decay Using a Geiger Mueller tube there are a number of experiments we can do In the classroom there are two different types of Geiger Counters commercial and home made detectors We describe first how to operate each detector One of the main goals of the experiment is to understand the statistics of nuclear decay and both types of detectors can be used for this purpose Using either detector we can measure the efficiency of the Geiger counter and take successive measurements to see if the standard deviation of the total counts are consistent with Poisson statistics The Home Made detector has the additional ability to see the pulse on an oscilloscope and to measure the time between successive pulses We can check if the frequency plot of the successive times are consistent with the decay being probabilistic In class we will decide which experiments we will perform and write up 1 Operating Instructions and Voltage for the Commercial Geiger Counter In order to determine the proper operating voltage for our Geiger Counter tubes we will measure the counts recorded as a function of the tube voltage Warning Do not put too much voltage across the tube or the tube will break For the small tubes do not exceed 500 volts and for the larger tubes do not exceed 900 volts Note Before turning the power on be sure the voltage is set to zero a Place a source under the Geiger counter tube It really doesn t matter which source you use as long as it is fairly active greater than 1 Ci Use a Cs137 source if we have enough to go around or use one of the more active sources available in the lab i e Co60 that the instructor gives you b Set the timer to count for ten minutes c Before turning the power on be sure the voltage is set to zero Slowly turn up the voltage until the counter starts to record counts This is the starting voltage Record this voltage d Take 1 minute readings increasing the voltage by about 10 or 20 volts each time

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