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Photon detectors

  1. Feb 3, 2006 #1
    Hey, I'm new to these forums and am just learning about quantum physics.

    I was wondering about the detectors used to pick up on photons. How exactly do these detectors work? What about the ones described which detect a photon but allow it pass through?

    Also, if a detector were designed to detect a photon of visible light radiation, would it also pick up a photon of gamma radiation?
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 3, 2006 #2
    There's a bunch of ways to detect photons. Your average camera has a photon detector, film. Here's a couple of ways that are used atleast at the X-ray energies.

    Solid state semiconductor detectors detect photons via the electron-hole pairs the incoming photons create in a semiconducting crystal. In an applied electric field that produces a current which is propotional to the incoming photons' energies. Then there's scintillation detectors in which the incoming photon makes the detecting element emit new photons which create a current via a photomultiplier tube.

    I don't know about your last question. The detectors are usually designed to work at a certain photon energy range. For something to work at ev and MeV photon energies would take some exceptional instrumentation.
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