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NAME Sheharyar Gill Maymona Arshad Sehrish Mehreen Azka Ashraf ROLL NO.:11050810-007 11050810-008 12060810-042 12060810-045

Introduction To G.M Counter.

Construction Of G.M Counter.

Working Of G.M Counter. Applications ,Advantages and Disadvantages.


In 1908 a scientist Hans Geiger give the idea that we

can detect the radiations by using a Tube. In 1928 Walther Muller and Hans Geiger collaborated and built the tube that can detect different type of radiations. This tube was given the name G.M tube after its inventors, and the overall apparatus is known as G.M Counter.

Construction Of G.M Counter

It consists of a G.M Tube, counter, power supply,

resistance and a radiation source . G.M Tube is a metallic tube filled with an inert gas such as He , Ne or Ar along with a quenching gas such as halogens or some organic gas at 0.1 atm pressure. Tube contain two electrodes anode and cathode. The walls of the tube are of metal or coated inside with a conductor to form a cathode and a wire fixed at the center of the tube served as anode. There is created a potential difference of several hundred volts between the two electrodes with the help of H.V. Battery.

Construction Of G.M Counter

The usual form of G.M Tube contain two end

windows. One end is closed and connected to the voltage and the other end contain glass or mica window through which radiations can enter in to tube. The glass window is used seldomly instead it is cheaper because Alpha radiations cant pass through it. On the other hand mica window is extensively used because Alpha rays can pass through it and it is more fragile. Following is a schematic diagram.

When the radiations are entered into the tube by

means of the source they starts ionizing the gas filled in the tube. The ionization in the gas produced due to the direct interaction of the radiations with gas molecules or by the secondary electrons produced in the walls of the tube and in the gas. The ionization of gas produce electrons and ions known as electron ion pair. Since we have created a high potential difference between the two electrodes the electrons and ions will move towards there respective electrodes.

Near the anode electrons gain sufficient amount of

energy and further interact with gas molecules and create an avalanche of electrons. The electrons spreads over the anode and pulses of current are produced each pulse is measured as a count which is measured through counter. This short, intense pulse of current can be measured as a count event in the form of a voltage pulse developed across an external electrical resistor.

To reuse the G.M tube we mix a quenching gas with

the inert gas which deionizes all the gas in the tube to detect the other incoming photon. Q:- How Quenching gas works? Ans. When the inert gas is ionized its positive ions move toward cathode but before reaching there they strike with the quenching gas and transfer there energy to molecules of the quenching gas. The inert gas then becomes neutral by gaining electron from quenching gas. The quenching gas also become neutral by going to the cathode inspite of inert gas.

Dead Time
It is defined as the short time in which the G.M Tube

cant detect any radiation particle(Photon). It occur due to the quenching process because when the quenching gas deionize the inert gas some time is utilized that time is the dead time of G.M Counter. It is in the range of 5 to 100 micro seconds.

A graph is plotted between the voltage and counts to

show the ionization of gas and variation of counts with voltage which is as follow.

We got four regions in the graph which represents the

variation of counts with voltage.

Region 1 is known as the recombination region. In this

region the electric field due to potential difference between the electrodes is weak because of the low voltage applied and due to this reason electrons and ions combine again to form a neutral atom and we dont get any count. This recombination continues until we raise the voltage up to a specific value called starting voltage. Recombination can occurs between the voltage range 300V to 800V as average but it changes for different tubes.

Region 2 is known as ionization region. In this region

with a small increase in the voltage from the starting voltage there will be a large increase in the counts as shown in the graph for 50V increase in counts will be 1250. The no. of counts increases because the electric filed becomes strong . The ionization occure till a certain voltage that is known as the threshold voltage.
Region 3 is known as the proportional region OR

Geiger plateau. This is known as proportional region because in this region the no. of counts changes almost proportional to the voltage. The more the voltage is increased the more the electrons are energized and the more ionization will be produced which results in an increase in counts. Electrons move toward there respective electrodes.

Region 4 is known as breaking down region or region of

continuous discharges. In this region a small increase in the voltage creates a sea of electrons and Geiger counter can not work in this region. In this region the particle(Photon) enters faster then the recovering of gas.

Applications Of G.M Counter

To detect radioactive rocks and minerals. To check for environmental levels of radioactivity near

a nuclear power facility. To check the leakage of radiations in the labs and hospitals e.g. X-rays.

To check for radioactivity in metal objects in your

home or office that could be made of recycled radioactive materials.

In educational labs.

Advantages Of G.M Counter

They are inexpensive. They are easily portable and durable.

They can detect almost all types of radiations and also can

measure there amount.

Disadvantages of G.M Counter

They cant differentiate which type of radiation is

being detected. They cant measure the exact energy of the detected radiation. They have a very low efficiency. They cant detect neutron and micro waves.

Sheharyar Gill

Maymona Arshad
Sehrish Mehreen Azka Ashraf

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