For Student Groups

What kind of substances are radioactive? How can I protect myself from the emitted radiation, and how long does a radioactive substance radiate? Hands-on-experiments with natural and synthesized radioactive materials answer these and other questions regarding radioactivity.

Book Radioactivity

15 to 21 years
1 day
Maximum number of participants


  • Shielding of radiation
  • Half-life
  • Deflection of beta radiation in a magnetic field
  • Distance dependency
  • Scattering of radiation

Ionizing radiation emitted from radioactive substances occurs in nature due to natural sources as well as in various applications in science, technology and medicine. The high energy density of radionuclides and the ionizing radiation emitted along with nuclear transformations pose changes regarding a sustainable and safe use of radionuclides.
In the course on radioactivity, the participants perform hands-on experiments to investigate the physical properties of nuclear radiation. Safety issues are address in a radiation protection instruction prior to the experiments. The traces of ionizing radiation are observed in a continuous cloud chamber.

We offer the course on radioactivity with focus on different aspects:

Fundamentals 1

  • Statistics of count rates
  • Identification of alpha, beta and gamma radiation
  • Naturally radioactive materials

Alternative: Fundamentals 2

  • Identification of alpha, beta and gamma radiation
  • Deflection of beta radiation in a magnetic field
  • Half-life of Ba-137m

Alternative: Advanced Topics

  • Half-life of Rn-220
  • Shielding of beta and gamma radiation
  • Distance dependency
  • (Back)scattering of beta radiation

Each course comprises an introduction into the theoretical background of the experiments. Besides the courses described above, the course content can be adapted to your needs. For selection of the experiments and questions regarding the course, please contact Dr. Christina Lumme or Dr. Carsten Nowak.