Physics307L:People/Cordova/Matt's Poisson Statistics Summary

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My Partner for this lab was Sebastian.
The notebook for this lab can be found here


The purpose of this lab is to observe random events that occur at an average rate (known as Poisson distribution) and familiarize yourself with the statistics that deal with such experiments. In this lab, my partner and I counted, as far as I understand, solar radiation using an NaI detector located amongst a barrier of lead bricks. These observations are recorded and are found to normalize in the form of Poisson distribution.


There are no outstanding safety concerns for this lab.


  • Combined Scintillator and PMT
  • Computer running UCS 30 software
  • Lead Bricks
  • Spectech Universal Computer Spectrometer Power Supply

Set Up

A detailed set up can be found in Prof. Gold's lab manual. This lab was already set up when Sebastian and I chose to do this experiment, so I am unfamiliar with the details. Basically, a device which detects radiation is connected to a computer with software set up such that the number of detected 'events' are recorded over multiple intervals. These observations are what make up the data to be analyzed for this lab.