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Gamma-Ray Spectroscopy SCA vs. MCA

  1. Jun 14, 2015 #1
    A single-channel analyser (SCA) counts the number of voltage pulses whose height falls within an adjustable range.

    A multi-channel analyser (MCA) sorts the pulses according to height and counts the number in each spectral window to give a spectral energy distribution.

    Does this mean the resolution of spectrums with an MCA will be better than with a SCA? Are there any other advantages to using a MCA over a SCA? Are there any advantages to using a SCA over a MCA? I can't really think of any aside from resolution.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 14, 2015 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    An MCA is basically a collection of many SCAs operating in parallel, with each one set to a different window (or channel). It takes much less time to accumulate the data for a complete spectrum, than with a single SCA that has to accumulate the channels one at a time.
  4. Jun 23, 2015 #3
    SCAs are useful in establishing coincidence between nuclear decays. It is better than most MCAs which must busy themselves digitizing many uninteresting events increasing the dead time.
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