The 8 Instruments to Measure Ionizing Radiation

The Geiger counter is not the only instrument to measure radiation. There are several instruments that you may want to search further. Even, they may be more accurate than a Geiger counter.

In this post, we are showing 8 models of instruments to measure ionizing radiation.

1. Geiger Counter

Developed in 1928, the Geiger counter is a standard tool to measure ionizing radiation exposure. Geiger Muller tube supported with its electronic circuit can measure all four types of ionizing radiation.

During operation, the Geiger counter can continuously monitor the atmosphere and detect any source of ionizing radiation. Geiger counters are designed for accuracy, consistency and sensitivity where the sensitivity depends on the size of the tube (the bigger the better).

Geiger counters cannot differentiate between different ionizing radiation and will give output in count per minute CPM for any radiation exposure.

Geiger counters are dedicated equipment that is used by professionals for the measurement of ionizing radiations. This tool is a little bit complex and needs specific technical knowledge to get proper radiation readings.

There are some other tools available for this purpose that are little below in performance or inabilities to detect ionizing radiation but are easy to operate.

2. Scintillation Detectors

Scintillation detector is designed to detect high level of X rays that have energy level very close to the low level of gamma radiation. They are made from thallium activated sodium iodide. It reacts to gamma ray by producing a flash of visible light.

There are different variant of this detector available with has its different application and limitations. There are portable and fixed scintillation detectors available but both have small limit of detecting low level gamma radiations.

3. Basic Survey Meter

These are personal radiation detectors that are light in weight. These are used when an unknown source of radiation is needed to be detected around your personal space. They continuously monitor the environment and can give signals when detecting ionizing radiation

4. Portable Survey Meter

A portable survey meter that has a full range of modular probe with it can be used to locate source of ionizing radiation when the source of radiations are hard to reach.

Portable survey meters have a built-in calibrated ionizing radiation dose detector and due to this they can accept a wide range of probe for detecting a wider range of ionizing radiations

5. Gamma Survey Meter

Specifically designed to detect any energy level and range of gamma rays, the Gamma survey is a dedicated and highly sophisticated tool that can give an accurate value of Gamma-ray does. They are only used by Doctors who work as a nuclear medicine specialist and provide a medical isotope for treatment.

6. Surface Contamination and Post-Accident Response Instrument

These are also dedicated ionizing radiation detecting equipment and they are designed to detected ionizing radiations emitted by any non-radioactive surface when it is exposed to any radioactive material.

This exposure can be due to an accident or direct involvement of any material with radioactive materials. Tools used in an atomic power plant are a good example of these surfaces and an Atomic power plant is a place where these tools are used extensively.

7. Ionizing Chamber

They are the simplest type of ionizing radiation detectors. They are simply a gas filled chamber that is designed to detect ionizing radiation present is any area or confined space. They can detect a wide range of X rays and gamma rays and are widely used in nuclear power plants and research labs.

They simply work by calculating the charge produce from the ion pairs that are created ionizing gas present inside the chamber. Chamber has two electrodes and high voltage is applied on them. When ionizing radiations ionizes the gas, an ion moves toward the electrode and deliver their charge to the electrode and thus developing a charge.

8. X-Ray Proportional Counters

An X-ray proportional counter is a x ray detector consisting of a inter gas filed cylindrical body with a center electrode. Inter gasses like neon and xenon are used in X-ray proportional counter. High voltage is applied to the electrode and when ionizing radiation ionize the inert gas present inside the cylinder, an electric charge in produce which can be amplified and calculated to detect the presence of X rays.


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