# Radioactivity measurements -- finding a fit for lab measurements

• I
• YanivW
In summary, the conversation discusses an experiment in radioactivity where a source emitting alpha particles (Am) and a sensor were placed in a vacuum chamber to measure power at different angles. The goal is to fit a theoretical function to the measurements in order to calculate the total power of the source. Initially, a gaussian function was suggested, but it was found that a fit to f(x)=e^-(x^4) would provide better results due to the source having finite dimensions. The reason for this is still unclear and further discussion is welcomed.
YanivW
As a part of an experiment in radioactivity, we placed an alpha particles emitting source (Am) and a sensor in a vacuum chamber, and measured the power (number of particles per time unit) for various angles of the sensor.
Our goal is to fit a theoretical function to our measurements (power vs. angle) so we can integrate it and get the total power of the source.
At first we've been told to fit a gaussian, but then we saw that it's peak is "cut". We found in some book that a fit to f(x)=e^-(x^4) will give better results, and that the reason to this have something to do with the fact that the source isn't a perfect source point, i.e. it has finite dimensions.
I will be glad if someone could think of a reasonable explanation to this.
Thanks a lot!

Do you have a sketch of the setup? A perfect spherical source will emit uniformly in all directions, some angular dependence has to come from source or detector.

## Related to Radioactivity measurements -- finding a fit for lab measurements

Radioactivity refers to the process by which unstable atoms emit energy or particles in the form of radiation. This phenomenon occurs naturally in certain elements, such as uranium, but can also be artificially induced through nuclear reactions.

## 2. Why is it important to measure radioactivity in a lab?

Measuring radioactivity is important for a variety of reasons, including monitoring levels of radiation in the environment, assessing the safety of nuclear materials, and understanding the properties of radioactive substances for research purposes.

## 3. How do you measure radioactivity in a lab?

Radioactivity can be measured using a variety of techniques, such as gamma spectroscopy, liquid scintillation counting, and ionization chamber measurements. Each method has its own advantages and is suitable for different types of samples and levels of radioactivity.

## 4. What is the process of finding a fit for lab measurements?

Finding a fit for lab measurements involves comparing the results obtained through different measurement techniques and selecting the most accurate and precise method for the specific sample being tested. This may also involve calibrating the instruments and accounting for any potential sources of error.

## 5. How can radioactivity measurements be used in practical applications?

Radioactivity measurements have a wide range of practical applications, including in medicine for diagnosing and treating diseases, in industry for quality control and detecting contamination, and in environmental monitoring to ensure the safety of the public and ecosystems.

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