lab5 - James Montgomery Physics 326 Section 04 Lab 5 Least...

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James Montgomery Physics 326 Section 04 October 20, 2011 Lab 5: Least Square Fit Introduction: Radioactive substances can decay at rates ranging from a half-life of thirty years, like Cs 137, to a half-life of 2.55 minutes, like Ba 137*. This lab aims to measure the lifetime of a rapidly decaying sample and use least square fitting to acquire the most accurate half-life from the sample by using the equation: Furthermore, this lab aims to teach how to fit a curve to a set of points without using a canned curve fitting program by manipulating the equation: Experimental Method: This lab shares the same setup as the previous labs. A radioactive Ba 137* sample, which was eluted from the Cs 137 sample, was set under a Geiger tube and electronic counter, which fed into the LabPro Interface and then to the computer. The Logger Pro program on the computer needed to be synced with the LabPro interface as well. The Logger Pro was then configured to a 900 second run, which differed from the 600 stated in the lab, with a 30 second time interval. As soon as the Ba 137* sample was
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