How would you set up a lab to observe the amount of radiation as the distance from a radioactive source varies?Including; independent variable, dependent variable, materials, procedure, and sample...

How would you set up a lab to observe the amount of radiation as the distance from a radioactive source varies?

Including; independent variable, dependent variable, materials, procedure, and sample data table. 

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bandmanjoe | Middle School Teacher | (Level 2) Senior Educator

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Well, your independent variable here would be the distance you are from the radioactive source.  That would determine the amount of radiation received.  The amount of radiation received would be your dependent variable.  The setup of this experiment would be as simple as setting up a radioactive sample and measuring it with a Geiger Counter, which is a device that counts the number of nuclei breaking down into more stable forms.  These nuclei release radiation when they do this.  All you would have to do is set up the Geiger Counter at differing distances and measure the amount of radiation given off.  You could present the differing amounts of radiation on a data table, arranged by their different distances from the radioactive sample.  Be sure to control all the other variables, such as amount of time measured, size of radioactive sample, and room temperature at the time of the experiment.  These are called control variables, we don't want them to influence the outcome of the experiment, so we control them.

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