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A "two-piece" bench type Geiger–Müller counter with end-window detector.

The device[]

The Geiger counter is an instrument used for measuring ionizing radiation used widely in such applications 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.

A Geiger counter consists of a Geiger-Müller tube, the sensing element which detects the radiation, and the processing electronics, which displays the result. The Geiger-Müller tube is filled with an inert gas such as helium, neon, or argon at low pressure, to which a high voltage is applied.

How it works[]

The original detection principle was discovered in 1908, but it was not until the development of the Geiger-Müller tube in 1928 that the Geiger-Müller counter became 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.


The Geiger counter is an instrument used for measuring ionizing radiation used widely in such applications as radiation dosimetry, radiological protection, experimental physics and the nuclear industry.

most Civil Defense devices were actually ion-chamber radiological survey meters capable of measuring only high levels of radiation that would be present after a major nuclear event.

Most of the Geiger and ion-chamber survey meters were issued by governmental Civil Defense organizations in several countries from the 1950s in the midst of the Cold War in an effort to help prepare citizens for a nuclear attack.

Many of these same instruments are still in use today by some states, Texas amongst them, under the jurisdiction of the Texas Bureau of Radiation Control. They are regularly maintained, calibrated and deployed to fire depts and other emergency services.

Also see[]

  1. Nukes
  2. EMP
  3. Atomic warfare information notes.
  4. Atomic accidents and disasters
  5. Atomic\nuclear war
  6. Science
  7. Leningrad Nuclear Power Plant accidents
  8. UK OTL atomic reactors in 1962
  9. POMCUS sites
  10. Mushroom cloud
  11. 1960 Bomarc Missile accident
  12. Nuclear fallout
  13. Atomic accidents and disasters
  14. Atomic\nuclear power stations
  15. Mushroom cloud
  16. Atomic arsenals
  17. Bomb blast effects
  18. Atomic\nuclear war
  19. Atomic accidents and disasters
  20. The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND)
  21. Atomic War
  22. Atomic warfare information notes.
  23. A nuclear\atomic holocaust or nuclear apocalypse
  24. Nukes
  25. Explosive blast\yield
  26. Atomic arsenals
  27. Bomb blast effects
  28. Atomic\nuclear war
  29. Atomic accidents and disasters
  30. Atomic\nuclear power stations
  31. Geiger-Muller counter
  32. "Poland is 'toast'!"
  33. Nuclear fallout
  34. Atomic videos
  35. Nuclear fallout
  36. Atomic accidents and disasters
  37. Atomic\nuclear power stations
  38. Mushroom cloud
  39. Atomic arsenals
  40. Bomb blast effects
  41. Atomic\nuclear war
  42. Atomic accidents and disasters
  43. The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND)
  44. Atomic War
  45. Atomic warfare information notes.
  46. A nuclear\atomic holocaust or nuclear apocalypse
  47. Nukes
  48. Explosive blast\yield
  49. Atomic arsenals
  50. Bomb blast effects
  51. Atomic\nuclear war
  52. Atomic accidents and disasters
  53. Atomic\nuclear power stations
  54. Geiger-Muller counter
  55. "Poland is 'toast'!"
  56. Nuclear fallout
  57. Atomic videos


  1. https://www.cpp.edu/~pbsiegel/bio431/texnotes/chapter4.pdf
  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geiger_counter
  3. http://www.national-radiation-instrument-catalog.com/
  4. http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/irp7.pdf
  5. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civil_Defense_Geiger_counters
  6. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Townsend_discharge
  7. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geiger%E2%80%93M%C3%BCller_tube
  8. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gaseous_ionization_detectors
  9. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ionization_chamber