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Physics 111: Gamma Ray Spectroscopy (GMA)

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Published on Mar 7, 2012

Physics 111 Advanced Laboratory. Professor Sumner Davis

This video accompanies the Gamma Ray Spectroscopy Experiment, providing students with an introduction to the theory, apparatus, and procedures.

The purpose of this experiment is to measure the mass attenuation coefficients of several materials using gamma ray sources. First you will perform some tests to show the effect of various equipment settings. You will then use the known sources to calibrate your detector, and verify the inverse square law. Finally, you will make some measurements that will allow you to calculate the mass attenuation coefficients for several materials at several energies.

In this apparatus, the gamma rays enter a NaI scintillator crystal, which converts them into many lower energy photons. These photons travel through the crystal to the photocathode of a photomultiplier tube, where they are converted into electrons by means of the photoelectric effect. The photo-electrons are sent through a series of electrodes where the number of electrons is multiplied. At the anode, a pulse of current is produced, and then counted.

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