22.S902 | January IAP 2015 | Undergraduate
Do-It-Yourself (DIY) Geiger Counters


Course Textbook

[Turner] = Turner, James. Atoms, Radiation, and Radiation Protection. 3rd ed. Wiley-VCH, 2007. ISBN: 9783527406067. [Preview with Google Books]

Assigned Readings

These readings are to be completed before each day’s class period.


Radioactive decay chains


Geiger counter circuit theory

[Turner] “The Nucleus and Nuclear Radiation.” Chapter 3, pp. 55–79.

[Turner] “Activity” and “Exponential Decay.” Sections 4.1 and 4.2,  pp. 83–85.

Course notes: “Geiger-Müller Counter Circuit Theory.” (PDF) (Courtesy of Mark Chilenski. Used with permission.)


Ionization Chamber and Geiger Tube Theory

Dead time

[Turner] “Methods of Radiation Detection.” Chapter 10, pp. 241–52.

[Turner] “Dead Time” and “Instrument Response.” Section 11.12, pp. 339–42.

3 Shielding [Turner] “Attenuation Coefficients.” Section 8.7, pp. 187–96.
4 Error and uncertainty [Turner] “The Normal Distribution.” Section 11.6, pp. 315–35

Background and Supplemental Readings

[Turner] “About Atomic Physics and Radiation.” Chapter 1, pp. 1–13.

[Turner] “Physical Constants,” “Units and Conversion Factors,” and “Some Basic Formulas of Physics.” Appendices A, B, and C, pp. 551–56.

Course Info
As Taught In
January IAP 2015
Learning Resource Types
assignment Problem Sets
collections Image Gallery
notes Lecture Notes
assignment Written Assignments
co_present Instructor Insights