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Geiger-muller 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.
an instrument for detecting and measuring the intensity of ionizing radiation. It consists of a gas-filled tube containing a fine wire anode along the axis of a cylindrical cathode with a potential difference of several hundred volts. Any particle or photon which ionizes any number of gas molecules in the tube causes a discharge which is registered by electronic equipment. The magnitude of the discharge does not depend upon the nature or the energy of the ionizing particle Compare proportional counter

1924, for German physicist Hans Geiger (1882-1945), who invented it with W. Müller. The surname is literally “fiddler.”

Geiger counter Gei·ger counter (gī’gər)
An instrument that measures the intensity of radiation by detecting radioactive particles as they cross a metal or glass tube filled with gas, causing ionization of the gas molecules and producing an electrical discharge. Also called Geiger-Müller counter.
Geiger counter
An electronic instrument that detects and measures nuclear radiation, such as x-rays or gamma rays. The Geiger counter consists of a gas-filled tube with a charged electrode connected to a counter. As radiation passes through the gas it ionizes atoms along its path. The ions are attracted to the charged electrode, creating pulses of electric current that are registered by the counter.


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