How do scintillators and photomultipliers work?
Scintillators are basically solid materials that emit light when an energetic particle or photon passes through them. The energy deposited by the particle or photon will excite loosely bound electrons, which will promptly recombine and emit radiation which is more readily detectable.
Photomultiplier tubes convert radiation into a current. The way it works is that the incoming radiation excites electrons by the photoelectric effect. These electrons are then directed to a series of secondary plates which then excite more electrons. By the end of the cascade, there are enough electrons to induce a sizable current and register a "detection".
Hey... I just wanted to add that scintillators do not necessarily have to be solid, but in many cases when it becomes a complex geometry or rather an issue of money, liquid scintillator can be used. Not really a correction or anything... just an addition.
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