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Investigating the Range of Beta Particles In Air.

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Introduction

INVESTIGATING THE RANGE OF BETA PARTICLES IN AIR

Prediction

The received count rate decreases as the distance between the source and the detector increases. I predict that count rate is

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Middle

50

47

41

44

60

25

29

27

70

18

23

20.5

Analysis

        From my graph, you can see that as the distance increases, first at a distance of 5cm the count is a large rate of 3393.5/10s. This falls to a decrease of 706.5/10s at a distance of 10cm. The count rate continues to fall rapidly, and at a count of 500/10s the distance increases by 15cm. This decrease continues, and at a count of 293.5/10s, the increase in distance is 20cm. When the distance is 50cm, the decrease becomes slightly less rapid and the count is 44/10s. The decrease in the count rate further evens out, and at a distance of 70cm, the count is 20.5/10s. Therefore, the curve evens out substantially.

        The reason for these changes in the count rate is

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Conclusion

The count for each distance was read twice, and this wasn’t quite consistent.

Possible improvements

  • A more accurate and readable ruler should be used to measure the distance.
  • A proper and fair scale should be used for distance, so that the experiment could be a fair one. The distances should either go up in only 5’s or go up in only 10’s.
  • The experiment shouldn’t be done in background radiation, so the readings will be fair; consisting of only beta particles and not gamma also.
  • The count for each distance should be read/noted at least three times, in order to produce a more accurate average.

Possible extensions

  • Investigating higher and lower distances to see if the trend continues or if there are other limiting factors.
  • Further research into Radioactivity to explain my results in more depth.

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