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Geiger–Müller Counter

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Geiger–Müller Counter is a hand-held radiation survey instrument used in Radiation Dosimetry,Nuclear Physics,Experimental Physics & Radiological Protection.

Geiger–Müller Counter is a hand-held radiation survey instrument used in Radiation Dosimetry,Nuclear Physics,Experimental Physics & Radiological Protection.

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Geiger–Müller Counter

  1. 1. A PRESENTATION ON GEIGER-MULLER COUNTERS. PRESENTED BY ABHISEK KUMAR SINGH 20124001 8TH SEM. , 4TH YEAR
  2. 2. GEIGER–MÜLLER COUNTER A HAND-HELD RADIATION SURVEY INSTRUMENT
  3. 3. LIST OF CONTENTS:-  INTRODUCTION  PRINCIPLE OF OPERATION  READOUT  TYPES OF GEIGER-MULLER COUNTER  APPLICATIONS OF GEIGER-MULLER COUNTER  LIMITATIONS OF GEIGER-MULLER COUNTER  CONCLUSION
  4. 4. INTRODUCTION  The Geiger–Müller 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.  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.
  5. 5. PRINCIPLE OF OPERATION  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.  The tube briefly conducts electrical charge when a particle or photon of incident radiation makes the gas conductive by ionization.  The ionization is considerably amplified within the tube by the Townsend Discharge Effect to produce an easily measured detection pulse, which is fed to the processing and display electronics.
  6. 6.  This large pulse from the tube makes the G-M Counter relatively cheap to manufacture, as the subsequent electronics is greatly simplified.  The electronics also generates the high voltage, typically 400–600 volts, that has to be applied to the Geiger-Müller tube to enable its operation. TOWNSEND DISCHARGE :  The Townsend discharge or Townsend avalanche is a gas ionization process where free electrons are accelerated by an electric field, collide with gas molecules, and consequently free additional electrons.  Those electrons are in turn accelerated and free additional electrons. The result is an avalanche multiplication that permits electrical conduction through the gas. The discharge requires a source of free electrons and a significant electric field; without both, the phenomenon does not occur.
  7. 7. READOUT There are two types of radiation readout;  Counts :- The counts display is the simplest and is the number of ionizing events displayed either as a count rate, commonly "counts per second“ , or as a total over a set time period (an integrated total). The counts readout is normally used when alpha or beta particles are being detected.  Radiation Dose:- It is displayed in a unit such as the “Sievert” which is normally used for measuring gamma or X-ray dose rates.
  8. 8. The readout can be analog or digital, and increasingly, modern instruments are offering serial communications with a host computer or network. There is usually an option to produce audible clicks representing the number of ionization events detected. This is the distinctive sound normally associated with hand held or portable Geiger counters. The purpose of this is to allow the user to concentrate on manipulation of the instrument whilst retaining auditory feedback on the radiation rate.
  9. 9. TYPES OF GEIGER–MULLER COUNTER Broadly, there are two main types of Geiger–Müller counter:  End Window Type: - • For alpha particles, low energy beta particles, and low energy X-rays, the usual form is a cylindrical end-window tube. • This type has a window at one end covered in a thin material through which low-penetrating radiation can easily pass.. The other end houses the electrical connection to the anode. Pancake tube type: - The pancake tube is a variant of the end window tube, but which is designed for use for beta and gamma contamination monitoring. It has roughly
  10. 10. the same sensitivity to particles as the end window type, but has a flat annular shape so the largest window area can be utilized with a minimum of gas space. The anode is normally multi-wired in concentric circles so it extends fully throughout the gas space.  Windowless Type:- This general type is distinct from the dedicated end window type, but has two main sub-types, which use different radiation interaction mechanisms to obtain a count. 1. Thick walled • Used for high energy gamma detection, this type generally has an overall wall thickness of about 1-2 mm of chrome steel. Because most high energy gamma photons will pass through the low density fill gas without interacting, the tube uses the interaction of photons on the molecules of
  11. 11. the wall material to produce high energy secondary electrons within the wall. • Some of these electrons are produced close enough to the inner wall of the tube to escape into the fill gas. As soon as this happens the electron drifts to the anode and an electron avalanche occurs as though the free electron had been created within the gas. • The avalanche is a secondary effect of a process that starts within the tube wall; the avalanche is not the effect of radiation directly on the gas itself. Because most high energy, gamma photons will pass through the low density fill gas without interacting, tube uses the interaction of photons on the molecules of the wall material to produce high energy secondary electrons within the wall. Some of these electrons are produced close enough to the inner wall of the tube to escape into the fill gas. As soon as this happens the electron drifts to the anode and an electron avalanche occurs as though the free electron
  12. 12. had been created within the gas. The avalanche is a secondary effect of a process that starts within the tube wall; the avalanche is not the effect of radiation directly on the gas itself. 2. Thin walled:- Thin walled tubes are used for: • High energy beta detection, where the beta enters via the side of the tube and interacts directly with the gas, • Low energy gamma and X-ray detection. The lower energy photons interact better with the fill gas so this design concentrates on increasing the volume of the fill gas by using a long thin walled tube and does not use the interaction of photons in the tube wall.
  13. 13. APPLICATIONS OF GEIGER-MULLER COUNTER  Particle Detection:- • For alpha particles and low energy beta particles the "end-window" type of G-M tube has to be used as these particles have a limited range even in free air, and are easily stopped by a solid material. Therefore the tube requires a window which is thin enough to allow as many as possible of these particles through to the fill gas. • High energy beta particles can also be detected by a thin-walled "windowless" G-M tube, which has no end window. Although the tube walls have a greater stopping power than a thin end window, they still allow these more energetic particles to reach the fill gas.
  14. 14. • End-window G-M detectors are still used as a general purpose portable radioactive contamination measurement and detection instrument, owing to their relatively low cost, robustness and their relatively high detection efficiency; particularly with high energy beta particles.  Gamma and X-Ray Detection:- • Geiger counters are widely used to detect gamma radiation, and for this the windowless tube is used. • For high energy gamma it largely relies on interaction of the photon radiation with the tube wall material, usually 1–2 mm of chrome steel on a "thick-walled" tube, to produce electrons within the wall which can enter and ionize the fill gas. This is necessary as the low pressure gas in the tube has little interaction with high energy gamma photons.
  15. 15. Neutron Detection:- A variation of the Geiger tube is used to measure neutrons, where the gas used is Boron Trifluoride or Helium-3 and a plastic moderator is used to slow the neutrons. This creates an alpha particle inside the detector and thus neutrons can be counted. Gamma Measurement— Personnel Protection and Process Control:- The term "Geiger counter" is commonly used to mean a hand-held survey type meter, however the Geiger principle is in wide use in installed "area gamma" alarms for personnel protection, and in process measurement and interlock applications. A Geiger tube is still the sensing device, but the processing electronics will have a higher degree of sophistication and reliability than that used in a hand held survey meter.
  16. 16. LIMITATIONS OF GEIGER-MULLER COUNTER There are two main limitations of the Geiger counter.  Because the output pulse from a Geiger-Müller tube is always the same magnitude regardless of the energy of the incident radiation, the tube cannot differentiate between radiation types.  A further limitation is the inability to measure high radiation rates due to the "dead time" of the tube. This is an insensitive period after each ionization of the gas during which any further incident radiation will not result in a count, and the indicated rate is therefore lower than actual. Typically the dead time will reduce indicated count rates above about 104 to 105 counts per second depending on the characteristic of the tube being used.
  17. 17. CONCLUSION:- Geiger-Muller counters are regarded as one of the world’s best radiation detection instruments and is used widely and prominently as a hand-held radiation survey instrument. This device is 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. Geiger-Muller counters are used in numerous fields and it is even regarded as an indispensable tool for the detection and measurement of ionizing radiation.

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