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
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