What is Geiger counter: Definition and 29 Discussions

A Geiger counter is an instrument used for detecting and measuring ionizing radiation. Also known as a Geiger–Müller counter (or Geiger–Muller counter), it is widely used in applications such as radiation dosimetry, radiological protection, experimental physics, and the nuclear industry.
It detects ionizing radiation such as alpha particles, beta particles, and gamma rays using the ionization effect produced in a Geiger–Müller tube, which gives its name to the instrument. In wide and prominent use as a hand-held radiation survey instrument, it is perhaps one of the world's best-known radiation detection instruments.
The original detection principle was realized in 1908 at the University of Manchester, but it was not until the development of the Geiger–Müller tube in 1928 that the Geiger counter could be produced as a practical instrument. Since then, it has been very popular due to its robust sensing element and relatively low cost. However, there are limitations in measuring high radiation rates and the energy of incident radiation.

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  1. J

    Elevated Geiger Counter Radiation Reading for Envelope?

    I previously purchased a Geiger counter (GQ Electronics GMC-600+) for a university lab and have been confused about an elevated radiation reading from the envelope the Geiger counter came in. The envelope was a USPS Priority Mail bubble mailer envelope...
  2. A

    Is quartarad radex 1503+ or GQ GMC-300E a good geiger counter?

    Hello. I´m new here, my name is Alberto and I´m from Spain. I´m learning spanish, excuse me if I make mistakes. A friend of mine studied physics long time ago and he has a small hobby laboratory. He likes playing with physics. He told me he broke his Geiger counter and I want to give him a new...
  3. J

    Is my used Geiger counter radioactive?

    I’m a mom and was worried about radiation in the new house we moved into, so I ordered a Geiger counter (the GQ gmc 500 plus) on amazon. But I noticed the screen protector film wasn’t pressed on all the way so there were some bubbles, there also was one scratch on the screen protector film and...
  4. L

    Determining the uncertainity in Geiger Counter data

    From what I understand thus far is the counting involves Poisson therefore the uncertainty is just the square root of the counts, correct? But when I take the square root of the counts it produces a very small number compared to the count which makes it insignificant therefore the error bars...
  5. Lotic7

    Geiger Counter and ultraviolet light sources

    I purchased a RadiationD-v1.1(Cajoe) geiger counter off ebay, and attached an arduino nano and a 16x2 display ( I got the instructions off this site https://www.instructables.com/id/Arduino-DIY-Geiger-Counter/). I noticed that the counter was sensitive to UV when I had it out in the sunlight, so...
  6. DanishForestCat

    Calculating the uncertainty in a Geiger counter

    Does the absolute uncertainty in A+B-C equal √A+√B+√C? If so, this is larger than the value of A+B-C. Surely that can't be right? For this investigation, I have been working from a lab script from my local uni physics department. This suggested that calculating this actually required a method...
  7. I

    Weird readings of a Geiger counter in my basement

    Hi everyone! I'm new to this forum, so I hope my question fits into this category. Yesterday I wanted to check if I could measure any radiation from Radon in my basement with my Radiascan-701 Geiger counter which features a pancake-style probe that should be able to handle alpha, beta and...
  8. C

    Geiger (or other ionizing ray) Probe for Vacuum Conditions

    I am planning a physical experiement under vacuum conditions. In this experiement, I want to detect ionizing rays, especially as broad band as possible, for instance including alpha radiation. Typically geiger tubes are filled with a certain gas, that gets ionized by the radiation to measure...
  9. A

    B Quick Question about emitted radiation and Geiger counter accuracy

    Hi everyone. I read from: https://www.nucleonica.com/Applet/NaturalRA/Button5/page5.html that inside the human body, 4400 of K40 atoms disintegrate every second through radioactive decay. Of this decay, 11% (480) results in gamma radiation, and 50% of that 11% (240) escapes the body. My...
  10. patric44

    Can i use a neon lamp as radiation detctor?

    hi guys i was just wondering if i can use one of those neon indicator as some sort of ionization champer or as a crude geiger-mullar tube. and use the basic circuit of the radiation detector to make a simple radiation detector/counter this is the circuit i came up with : so the circuit works...
  11. moenste

    New distance between the Geiger counter and the source

    Homework Statement A point source of γ-radiation has a half-life of 30 minutes. The initial count rate, recorded by a Geiger counter placed 2.0 m from the source, is 360 s-1. The distance between the counter and the source is altered. After 1.5 hour the count rate recorded is 5 s-1. What is the...
  12. Plat

    Geiger counter and low-energy x-rays

    I have a geiger counter, the specifications say it is sensitive to x-rays down to 30kev. I wonder where that number comes from? Am I correct in thinking that any x-ray photon that enters the geiger tube will register a count, regardless of it's energy? Perhaps the 30kev minimum is there to...
  13. Plat

    Radiation or electrical interference? Geiger counter

    First, I hope this is the correct place for this question. I am experimenting with electrical discharges at low pressure, think plasma globe, and I bought a geiger counter to make sure I am not producing x-rays. My vacuum pump is rated down to 5 pascals. The problem is that the geiger counter...
  14. mishima

    Old Geiger Counter needing repair....

    My class was recently donated an old but perfectly functioning Geiger counter. It was the type that came with a mono-speaker which made audible clicks when decay events were detected. It was left on in the cabinets for multiple days, and now there is a steady tone coming through the speaker...
  15. Zackary Miller

    Why is my plasma globe causing a geiger counter to go crazy?

    The reason I did not place this in the nuclear engineering forum is because I feel that it is closer to an electrical engineering problem than a nuclear engineering problem.Now to the question. I recently got another geiger counter and a plasma globe for my birthday. Being the person I am I...
  16. K

    Geiger Counter Measurement: Sieverts/Hour?

    I have been looking for an answer about what a Geiger counter actually measures. I am puzzled by the claim that it can actually give measures in sieverts/hour, i.e, measure the dose equivalent received by the body. On Wikipedia (Geiger counter article), I read: "a G-M tube can detect the...
  17. C

    Statistical error analysis of Geiger counter?

    1. Homework Statement An average value of N measurements is defined as: ravg = 1N ∑ ri where i = 1 and it sums up to N measurements By using this expression in the master formula for a general function z = (x1, x2,...) error propagation, we find the δravg error propagation: (δravg)2 =...
  18. C

    Archived Relative error of a geiger counter?

    Homework Statement A geiger counter measures 750 counts in 5 min a) determine the average counting rate and the standard deviation of the counting rate. b) find the relative error c) How long would you want to count to get a relative error of 1%? Homework Equations standard...
  19. A

    Understanding Counts in a Geiger Counter: A Mechanistic Explanation

    One thing is not clear to me. When alpha or beta or gamma radiation enter into geiger counter, it ionizes the gas and ionization current produces counts in the detector. What exactly this counts indicate? Does it show the number of alpha or beta particles enter into the tube? Since even if one...
  20. K

    Geiger counter unaccounted jump in count rate

    I am in a lab class and we are currently measuring count rates for a specific source. Yesterday we ran a program that runs 3 second gate times on a CS-147 source with a voltage of 500v running through the detector, and a threshold of .5v on the counter. This 3 second gate time was to be repeated...
  21. I

    Electric Potential, Capacitance and charge of a Geiger Counter

    Homework Statement Find the potential difference, capacitance of the Geiger Counter and the charge on the anode. So, we have a Geiger Counter with low-pressurized neon inside. What we want is to have an alpha particle or electron to travel into the Geiger Counter with enough energy to collide...
  22. G

    Geiger Counter - predict counts?

    Are you able to predict precisely the count rate for a radioactive material? Why or why not?
  23. U

    Electrical Winding 1st toroidal transformer for my DIY Geiger counter

    First post! :) I am building a Geiger counter with this circuit: http://www.pocketmagic.net/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/geiger-simple-1b.jpg in the blog the author used a regular EI transformer from a power supply, but I tried disassembling them and broke the ferrite core 4 time now, so I...
  24. B

    Geiger counter calibration question

    I'm wondering if anyone could point me to a reference that explains how commercial digital geiger counters convert from the natural counts/sec unit to units of mR or uR/hr?
  25. E

    Wouldn't the Geiger Counter be considered a measuring device in SC?

    I think I am missing something in Schrodinger's Cat... Wouldn't the Geiger Counter cause the wave function of the decay to collapse because the Geiger Counter is interfering with the wave function? Would the Geiger Counter end the superposition of the particle? Does the problem lie with what the...
  26. D

    Where Can I Find a Geiger Counter Kit for Building and Shipping to Europe?

    Hi! I`m new here and I need some info where I can find project about building Geiger counter and where I can order the electronical components with shiping to Europe (Macedonia) :confused: Please help me!
  27. D

    Radioactivity - Why no reading on Geiger counter?

    [SOLVED] Radioactivity -- Why no reading on Geiger counter? Homework Statement A magnet is directly between a Geiger counter and a material that is know to be radioactive. If the Geiger counter does not register any radioactivity, what kinds of particles is the radioactive substance emitting...
  28. R

    What Is IPS in Geiger Counter Measurements?

    Hallo friends, I have some Geiger counter for detecting Gamma rays...By this meter one can measure in IPS (Intensity per second) or Siever/hour...Now i need to know What is this new unit IPS...Does anyone heard about it...or does it directly corresponds to the disintegrations per second...
  29. L

    Geiger Counter and Potential Difference

    In this problem I am getting stuck on how to find the potential difference. I don't know where to begin. In a Geiger Counter suppose the radius of the central wire is 145 micrometers and the radius of a hollow cylinder is 1.80 cm. What potential difference between the wire and the cylinder...