Recommended for High School.
When a Geiger counter is operated it will usually record an event every few seconds, even if no obvious radioactive source is placed nearby. Where do these counts come from?
Two significant sources are cosmic rays and radon decay products. Cosmic rays, as the name suggests, are fast-moving particles from space that enter the Earth’s atmosphere, along with their decay products. Since the atmosphere absorbs some of these particles, the rate of detection of cosmic rays increases with increasing altitude. If you were to take a Geiger counter on a cross-country jet flight, you would observe a marked increase in count rate while at high altitude.
In this experiment, you will
- Concentrate naturally occurring radioactive substances using a charged balloon.
- Use a radiation counter to detect emissions from naturally occurring radioactive substances.
- Determine the effective lifetime of the collection of radon decay products.
Sensors and Equipment
This experiment features the following Vernier sensors and equipment.
You may also need an interface and software for data collection. What do I need for data collection?
See all standards correlations for Nuclear Radiation with Vernier »