Geiger Counter
   Hans Wilhelm Geiger (1882-1945) introduced the first successful counter of individual alpha rays through an instrument known as the Geiger counter. Geiger was bom at Neustadt-an-der-Hardt, Germany. His father was a prominent rabbi and one of the leaders of Reformed Judaism. The son did not follow in his father's footsteps, but instead elected to pursue the study of science. He attended the universities at Munich and Erlangen, and obtained a doctorate in 1906 for work on electrical discharges in gases. He then took up a position at the University of Manchester, where he worked with Ernest Rutherford from 1907 to 1912. With Rutherford's assistance, Geiger developed an instrument for detecting alpha particles, which became the basis of the modern Geiger counter. He then returned to Germany, where he held important university positions for the rest of his days.
   In association with Wilhelm Miiller, Geiger produced what is now known as the Geiger-Muller counter, a gas-filled counting tube combined with an electronic device capable of reading and measuring the rate of radioactive substances. Ionizing particles penetrate the tube and pulsate the gas; hence the clicking sound.
   The Geiger counter, as it is generally called, is used for prospecting and for locating nuclear radiation. But more important, it is used by physicians to locate malignancies, and in that role has saved manylives.

Dictionary of eponyms. . 2013.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Geiger counter — [gī′gər] n. [after H. Geiger (1882 1945), Ger physicist] an instrument for detecting and counting ionizing particles that pass through it: it consists of a needlelike electrode inside a hollow metallic cylinder filled with gas which, when ionized …   English World dictionary

  • Geiger counter — 1924, for German physicist Hans Geiger (1882 1945), who invented it with W. Müller …   Etymology dictionary

  • Geiger counter — ► NOUN ▪ a device for measuring radioactivity by detecting and counting ionizing particles. ORIGIN named after the German physicist Hans Geiger (1882 1945) …   English terms dictionary

  • Geiger counter — Infobox Laboratory equipment name = Geiger counter caption = A modern geiger counter acronym = other names = Geiger Müller counter uses = Particle detector inventor = Hans Geiger manufacturer = model = related = Geiger Müller tubeA Geiger counter …   Wikipedia

  • Geiger counter — Gei·ger count·er gī gər .kau̇n tər n an instrument for detecting the presence and intensity of radiations (as cosmic rays or particles from a radioactive substance) by means of the ionizing effect on an enclosed gas which results in a pulse that… …   Medical dictionary

  • Geiger counter — UK [ˈɡaɪɡə(r) ˌkaʊntə(r)] / US [ˈɡaɪɡər ˌkaʊntər] noun [countable] Word forms Geiger counter : singular Geiger counter plural Geiger counters physics a piece of equipment that finds and measures radioactivity …   English dictionary

  • Geiger counter — noun /ˈɡaɪɡə ˈkaʊntə,ˈɡaɪɡɚ ˈkaʊntɚ/ A device designed to detect radioactivity and measure its intensity. Figure 27 shows a Geiger counter, used to detect ionizing radiation. The counter consists of a thin central wire, carrying a positive charge …   Wiktionary

  • Geiger counter — [[t]ga͟ɪgə(r) kaʊntə(r)[/t]] Geiger counters N COUNT A Geiger counter is a device which finds and measures radioactivity …   English dictionary

  • Geiger counter — 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.… …   Universalium

  • Geiger counter — /ˈgaɪgə kaʊntə / (say guyguh kowntuh) noun an instrument for detecting and counting ionising radiation, consisting of a tube which conducts electricity when the gas within is ionised by such a particle. Also, Geiger Müller counter. {from Hans… …   Australian English dictionary

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