Lab Work on nuclear physics

The Lab Work on nuclear physics forms students' understanding the holistic physical picture of the microcosm and the processes taking place in it. Experiments carried out on real spectrometers with different sources of ionizing radiation play a special role in the study of this section and understanding of the phenomena. A personal computer, that controls the devices displays experimental data, and also offers the user a mathematical apparatus for processing and analyzing the physical laws obtained as a result of the experiment.
The cycle of laboratory work in nuclear physics is intended for deeper mastering of lecture material and for acquiring the skills of experimentally obtaining or confirming certain regularities studied in nuclear physics. Students get acquainted with modern methods of experiment automation, learn to plan an automated experiment, including the processing of experimental data. The knowledge, obtained in these works is necessary for working with accelerators and in all spheres of experimental physics. Every engineer, working on an accelerator or a physics experimenter, should have an understanding of these laws.
The laboratory practical work on the nuclear physics ensures that all measurements are carried out in the automated spectrometric and counting mode. The typical measuring complex includes the following parts: Detector, electronic unit, spectrometer. On the one hand, automation allows you to get rid of many routine operations, and the computer - to quickly process experimental data. On the other hand, automation requires mandatory knowledge of what we need to receive. Studies, carried on the automated complex, are associated with certain difficulties in the correct choice of the operating mode of the experimental setup. Misunderstanding of the physical processes can lead to errors in the experiment. The target of the Lab Work is to master the work with automated systems for conducting experiments in nuclear physics and to study the basic physical laws of various phenomena in physics of the microworld.

Requirements for access to the workshop:

• Before beginning Lab Work, students should familiarize themselves with safety techniques when working with radioactive isotopes and sign in a special magazine.
• Students are also required to take a course on labor protection and fire safety.
• To perform practical tasks, basic knowledge of the course "Nuclear Physics" is necessary, namely, to have an idea of the existing types of ionizing radiation (α, β, γ - radiation) and their distinctive features.
• For the analysis of experimental results, it is recommended to have initial information from the course "Fundamentals of Mathematical Statistics" on the processing of experimental data, the calculation of measurement errors and the method of least squares for approximation of dependencies.

The list of laboratory works
1. Acquaintance with the device of the scintillation gamma spectrometer, obtaining gamma spectra of various isotopes and their identification. Acquaintance with the methods of processing spectra.

2. Acquaintance with the device of the scintillation beta spectrometer. Obtaining spectra from sources of beta radiation. The interaction of charged particles with matter. Ionization and radiation losses.

3. Alpha radiation. Determination of the average range and energy of alpha particles by absorption in air.

4. Interaction of gamma radiation with matter. Determination of the linear and mass absorption coefficient gamma radiation of different energies for different absorbers. Determination of the energy of gamma rays by the absorption method.

5. Familiarity with the work of the Geiger counter. Experimental verification of Poisson's law for acts of radioactive decay.

6. Experimental measurement of the half-life of a long-lived isotope, determination of the specific activity of the preparation.

7. Introduction to the operation of the Position Sensitive Semiconductor Detector type MX-10 (Medipix / Timepix chip) in the alpha spectrometer mode. Obtaining and analyzing alpha spectra from different isotopes.