Geiger counter

an instrument for detecting ionizing radiations, consisting of a gas-filled tube in which electric-current pulses are produced when the gas is ionized by radiation, and of a device to register these pulses: used chiefly to measure radioactivity. Also called Geiger-Müller counter.
[1920-25; named after H. GEIGER]

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or Geiger-Müller counter

Device used for detecting and counting individual particles of radiation.

Invented by the German physicist Hans Geiger (1882–1945) and later refined with help from Walther Müller, the device is a gas-filled metal tube with a wire through its axis and a high voltage applied to the wire. As particles enter the tube, they create a large avalanche of ionization in the gas, which then discharges, creating a brief electric pulse. The tube produces the same large output pulse for virtually every charged particle that passes through the gas and so is useful for detecting individual particles. It can therefore indicate lower levels of radiation than is possible with other types of detectors.

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also called  Geiger-Müller Counter,  

      type of ionization chamber (q.v.) especially effective for counting individual particles of radiation.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Geiger counter — [gī′gər] n. [after H. Geiger (1882 1945), Ger physicist] an instrument for detecting and counting ionizing particles that pass through it: it consists of a needlelike electrode inside a hollow metallic cylinder filled with gas which, when ionized …   English World dictionary

  • Geiger counter — 1924, for German physicist Hans Geiger (1882 1945), who invented it with W. Müller …   Etymology dictionary

  • Geiger counter — ► NOUN ▪ a device for measuring radioactivity by detecting and counting ionizing particles. ORIGIN named after the German physicist Hans Geiger (1882 1945) …   English terms dictionary

  • Geiger counter — Infobox Laboratory equipment name = Geiger counter caption = A modern geiger counter acronym = other names = Geiger Müller counter uses = Particle detector inventor = Hans Geiger manufacturer = model = related = Geiger Müller tubeA Geiger counter …   Wikipedia

  • Geiger Counter —    Hans Wilhelm Geiger (1882 1945) introduced the first successful counter of individual alpha rays through an instrument known as the Geiger counter. Geiger was bom at Neustadt an der Hardt, Germany. His father was a prominent rabbi and one of… …   Dictionary of eponyms

  • Geiger counter — Gei·ger count·er gī gər .kau̇n tər n an instrument for detecting the presence and intensity of radiations (as cosmic rays or particles from a radioactive substance) by means of the ionizing effect on an enclosed gas which results in a pulse that… …   Medical dictionary

  • Geiger counter — UK [ˈɡaɪɡə(r) ˌkaʊntə(r)] / US [ˈɡaɪɡər ˌkaʊntər] noun [countable] Word forms Geiger counter : singular Geiger counter plural Geiger counters physics a piece of equipment that finds and measures radioactivity …   English dictionary

  • Geiger counter — noun /ˈɡaɪɡə ˈkaʊntə,ˈɡaɪɡɚ ˈkaʊntɚ/ A device designed to detect radioactivity and measure its intensity. Figure 27 shows a Geiger counter, used to detect ionizing radiation. The counter consists of a thin central wire, carrying a positive charge …   Wiktionary

  • Geiger counter — [[t]ga͟ɪgə(r) kaʊntə(r)[/t]] Geiger counters N COUNT A Geiger counter is a device which finds and measures radioactivity …   English dictionary

  • Geiger counter — /ˈgaɪgə kaʊntə / (say guyguh kowntuh) noun an instrument for detecting and counting ionising radiation, consisting of a tube which conducts electricity when the gas within is ionised by such a particle. Also, Geiger Müller counter. {from Hans… …   Australian English dictionary


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