geiger-counter

Geiger counter

noun
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.
Also called Geiger-Müller counter.


Origin:
1920–25; named after H. Geiger

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World English Dictionary
Geiger counter or Geiger-Müller counter (ˈɡaɪɡəˈmʊlə)
 
n
Compare proportional counter 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
 
[C20: named after Hans Geiger and W. Müller, 20th-century German physicist]
 
Geiger-Müller counter or Geiger-Müller counter
 
n
 
[C20: named after Hans Geiger and W. Müller, 20th-century German physicist]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

Geiger counter
1924, for Ger. physicist Hans Geiger (1882-1945), who invented it with W. Müller.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

Geiger counter Gei·ger counter (gī'gər)
n.
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.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
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.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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