Learning objects The alpha, beta and gamma of radiation


Use a Geiger counter to measure the alpha, beta and gamma radiation from a range of isotopes. Test how much radiation is absorbed by smoke, air and solids such as paper, glass and lead. This learning object is one in a series of three learning objects.

Educational details

Key learning objectives
  • Students identify types of radiation emitted by a range of isotopes.
  • Students explore factors that influence the absorption of radiation.
Educational value
  • Provides a Geiger counter simulation which can record alpha, beta and gamma radiation.
  • Allows students to observe the amount of each type of radiation using different isotopes.
  • Enables students to explore the effect of putting different types of barrier between the Geiger counter and the isotope.
  • Enables students to explore what happens when they move the Geiger counter different distances from the isotope.
  • Provides a sample results table to print out.
  • Provides a glossary and topics for further research.
Year level


Learning area
  • science
  • Science/Science understanding
    • Science/Electrons
    • Science/Energy
    • Science/Simple experiments
    • Science/Quantitative data
    • Science/Physical properties
    • Science/Safety
    • Analysis;
    • Application;
    • Comprehension;
    • Knowledge
    Student activity
    • Interactives;
    • Experiment;
    • Analysis;
    • Modelling
    Learning design
    • Experiential learning;
    • Independent learning;
    • Problem solving;
    • Visual learning

    Other details

    • Subject matter expert
    • Organisation: Australian Science Teachers Association
    • Address: Canberra ACT 2600 Australia
    • URL: http://www.asta.edu.au/
    • Technical implementer
    • Publisher
    • Date of contribution: 28 Jan 2014
    • Organisation: Education Services Australia
    • Address: Melbourne VIC 3000 Australia
    • URL: http://www.esa.edu.au
    Access profile
    • Colour independence
    • Device independence
    • Hearing independence
    Learning resource type
    • Interactive Resource
    • Microsoft Internet Explorer - minimum version: 8.0 (MS-Windows) - maximum version: 9.0 (MS-Windows)
    • Firefox - minimum version: (MS-Windows)
    • Safari - minimum version: 5.1 (MacOS)
    Operating systems
    • MacOS - minimum version: 10.6
    • MS-Windows - minimum version: XP - maximum version: 7
    • © Education Services Australia Ltd, 2013, except where indicated under Acknowledgements.