Penetrating power of radiation questions

In summary, the conversation discusses a worksheet with a data table showing the results of measuring beta radiation through different shielding materials. The purpose of measuring with no shielding was to find the amount of beta radioactivity given off by the source. It was important to keep the distance between the source and the Geiger-Mueller tube constant because changing the distance would affect the data. When using gamma radiation instead of beta, the numbers in the table would change and they would be higher due to gamma radiation being stronger and penetrating through materials easier. The conversation then shifts to discussing why objects appear brighter or louder when closer to the source, and it is explained that it is due to the energy being created at the source and weakening as it travels further.
  • #1
tg22542
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Homework Statement



My questions relate to a worksheet given which includes a data table displaying results from putting a source of beta radiation near a Geiger-Mueller tube, and recording the Beta radioactivity through the shielding. It started off with the radiation going through nothing, where it was 1000 counts/min, then it shows data measured through cardboard, aluminum and lead. Then 2 sheets, then 3 etc. But the data should not be relevant to these questions really. If you think I should include the data table, let me know and I will do so.

1) What was the purpose of measuring the activity with no shielding material in place?

2) Why was it important to keep the distance between the source and the Geiger-Mueller tube constant

3) If you repeat the exercise using gamma radiation (with unshielded reading of 1000count/min)| instead of beta radiation, which numbers in the table would change? Would they be higher or lower?


Homework Equations



none


The Attempt at a Solution



1) We would do this in order to find the beta radioactivity amount that is given off by our source with no obstructions

2) We need to keep the distance constant because if we changed the distance our data would be different. If we moved it farther away we could have less count/min <--- but i don't know why, or if this is true. not sure what else to say

3) Gamma radiation would penetrate through the material much easier than beta. Gamma radiation is electromagnetic radiation of high energy, thus is stronger. <-- Need more on this answer as well.

Any help will be greatly appreciated,
Thanks!
 
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  • #2
2) A light bulb appears brighter when it is closer. A loudspeaker sounds louder when one is nearby. Why is that so?
 
  • #3
Because you're closer to the strongest waves?
 
  • #4
Let's assume that for a second. Where and why do the strongest waves disappear? And why are they at the source to begin with?
 
  • #5
They become weaker and less visible as they travel further. They are at the source because it is creating energy and the waves are the visible energy
 
  • #6
But why do they become weaker?
 
  • #7
Because the photons are being absorbed by different atoms thus weakening the visible energy?
 
  • #8
Imagine this is happening in vacuum. No absorption.

Actually, you don't even have to imagine this.

Look at the stars. Look at the Sun. They are all in a very good vacuum. Yet the Sun seems so much brighter than any star, even if many of those stars emit a lot more light than does the Sun.
 

Related to Penetrating power of radiation questions

1. What is the definition of penetrating power of radiation?

The penetrating power of radiation refers to the ability of a type of radiation, such as alpha, beta, or gamma, to pass through a material without being absorbed or stopped.

2. How is the penetrating power of radiation measured?

The penetrating power of radiation is measured by its ability to ionize atoms and molecules in a material. The more ionization that occurs, the more penetrating power the radiation has. This can be measured using devices such as Geiger counters or dosimeters.

3. Which type of radiation has the highest penetrating power?

Gamma radiation has the highest penetrating power, as it is able to pass through most materials without being absorbed. It can even penetrate thick layers of lead or concrete.

4. How does the penetrating power of radiation affect its harmfulness?

The higher the penetrating power of radiation, the more dangerous it can be to living organisms. This is because it is able to penetrate deeper into the body and cause damage to cells and DNA. Alpha and beta radiation, which have lower penetrating power, can be stopped by skin or clothing, making them less harmful.

5. What factors can affect the penetrating power of radiation?

The penetrating power of radiation can be affected by the type of radiation, its energy level, and the material it is passing through. For example, the more dense a material is, the more it will block radiation. Additionally, the higher the energy level of the radiation, the more penetrating power it will have.

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