Radiation Protection Glossary

A radiation protection glossary for Radiation Protection Supervisors (RPS), Radiation Protection Advisers (RPA) and anyone else interesting in radiation safety terms and definitions. The glossary is a mixture of health physics , phrases related to radiation protection legislation, transport, practical safety, technical terms and similar.

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For formal advice, see our Radiation Protection Adviser pages. 

Geiger counter

A Geiger Counter (G-M Counter) is a type of detector used to measure levels of Radiation or Contamination. The counter is relatively simple to make and is quite robust so it is used regularly in the field to take quick measurements. Due to its mode of operation, the output of the Geiger Tube is independent of the incident energy or the incoming Ionisation event. Thus it is strictly a 'counter' rather than an energy spectrometer (but within specific circumstances energy compensation can be implemented). Whilst the geiger counter will respond to Gamma Rays they are particularly suited to medium and high energy Beta Particles (e.g. C-14, S-35, P-32) and alpha emitters if fitted with a think window (e.g. Po-210, Am-241). For more information check out this Ionactive resource: The Geiger-Muller tube - radiation detector (video).

What's the matter? What's the antimatter? Does it antimatter?

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