Describe absorption experiment to distinguish 3 radiations

In summary, the absorption experiment to distinguish between alpha, beta, and gamma radiation involves using a source and placing absorbers in front of a suitable detector. The results from this experiment can identify the type of radiation emitted, taking into account the thickness of the absorbers and the amount of background radiation. A geiger counter can also be used to detect the presence of radiation. While a general rule of thumb is that alphas can be stopped by paper, betas by aluminum, and gammas by concrete or lead, this may not always be accurate and can vary depending on the energy and charge of the particles. Gamma ray shielding is typically made of lead.
  • #1
YES q THE zU19
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Homework Statement


I could not fit the whole problem typed out but;

Describe with a diagram, an absorption experiment to distingush between alpha, beta and gamma radiation.

Homework Equations


None required, written question.

The Attempt at a Solution



Source, absorbers placed in front of suitable detector.
How results identify the source
Allowance for background radiation

The above is a more general answer.

Could I also use the below in my answer:
Alpha can be stopped by a sheet of paper, beta, by aluminum, and gamma by concrete.
Geiger counter alternatively.

I am having difficulty using a diagram too.

Thanks
 
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  • #2
It gets a bit tricky because a high energy alpha particle may penetrate as far as a low energy beta particle. You'll have to decide if that is important.
The thickness of the absorber is also important ... how much paper, how much aluminium, how much concrete?

Of course you need to be specific: you have to explain how you account for background radiation, how the absorbers identify the source type, and how you use the geiger counter.
 
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  • #3
Simon Bridge said:
It gets a bit tricky because a high energy alpha particle may penetrate as far as a low energy beta particle. You'll have to decide if that is important.
The thickness of the absorber is also important ... how much paper, how much aluminium, how much concrete?

Of course you need to be specific: you have to explain how you account for background radiation, how the absorbers identify the source type, and how you use the geiger counter.

All good points.

alpha ~ 0.2mm of paper
beta ~ 1mm Pb/1-10 mm Al
gamma ~ 1-10cm of Pb/Several m of concrete

Measure initial count and discount it from the radiation present?

Could you not just use paper for example, alpha won't be able to penetrate it then say that, that radiation is obviously alpha?

THanks for your help.
 
  • #4
Could you not just use paper for example, alpha won't be able to penetrate it then say that, that radiation is obviously alpha?
How far a particle penetrates depends on how much charge it has and how much kinetic energy it has.
But you are generally correct ... if you know you have moderate energy particles, say from nuclear decay, then whatever is stopped by a sheet of paper is alphas, whatever is stopped by a few cm of iron is betas, and anything else is gammas. But this is a rule of thumb. If, for eg, you want to identify the particles in a cosmic ray source, then this rule won't work.

Note: Gamma ray shielding is usually made out of lead.
 
  • #5
Simon Bridge said:
How far a particle penetrates depends on how much charge it has and how much kinetic energy it has.
But you are generally correct ... if you know you have moderate energy particles, say from nuclear decay, then whatever is stopped by a sheet of paper is alphas, whatever is stopped by a few cm of iron is betas, and anything else is gammas. But this is a rule of thumb. If, for eg, you want to identify the particles in a cosmic ray source, then this rule won't work.

Note: Gamma ray shielding is usually made out of lead.

Interesting idea I had not thought about that.

Yes I gather that. Thank you for your help.
 

Related to Describe absorption experiment to distinguish 3 radiations

What is an absorption experiment to distinguish 3 radiations?

An absorption experiment is a scientific method used to differentiate between different types of radiation, such as alpha, beta, and gamma radiation. This experiment involves passing the radiation through a material and measuring how much of the radiation is absorbed by the material.

What materials are commonly used in an absorption experiment?

The most commonly used materials in an absorption experiment are lead, aluminum, and plastic. These materials have different levels of absorption for each type of radiation, allowing for the differentiation between the three.

What are the steps to conduct an absorption experiment?

The steps for an absorption experiment are as follows: 1) Gather the necessary materials, including the source of radiation, the absorber materials, and a radiation detector. 2) Set up the experiment by placing the radiation source in front of the detector and placing the absorber material between the two. 3) Record the initial radiation reading. 4) Remove the absorber material and record the radiation reading again. 5) Repeat the process with different absorber materials. 6) Analyze the data to determine the level of absorption for each material and type of radiation.

What are the differences in absorption rates for each type of radiation?

Alpha radiation is the most easily absorbed by materials, followed by beta radiation, and then gamma radiation. This is due to the size and energy of the particles that make up each type of radiation. Alpha particles are larger and have less energy, making them more easily absorbed by materials. Gamma particles are smaller and have more energy, making them less easily absorbed.

Why is an absorption experiment important in scientific research?

An absorption experiment is important in scientific research because it allows scientists to differentiate between different types of radiation, which can have different effects on living organisms and materials. This information is crucial for understanding the potential risks and dangers associated with different types of radiation and how to protect against them.

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