Difficult to make a choice for your new Geiger Counter? We wrote this special Geiger counter buying guide to help you, with the TOP10 of the best sales of the moment, tests, opinions… As in all our buying guides, we have done our best to help you choose the best Geiger Counter!
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Geiger counter buying guide
You are interested in the field of radioactivity and above all, you would like take exact measurements on certain radioactive substances or not daily. For this you need a Geiger counter. If the brand has been around for over a century, you still have to be careful about your choice to have a device that is practical, easy to use and effective. This is why we have established this guide and comparison to guide you in your choice. The best Geiger counter will thus be the result of your own decision after testing and knowing all the information necessary for its acquisition. Find out all you need to know to acquire this radioactivity measuring instrument.
Why should I buy a Geiger counter?
Being a relatively Easy to use, a Geiger counter will allow you to assess and know the level of exposure to one or more radioactive radiation in a specific place or substance. Originally intended for nuclear professionals, this equipment is now very popular with individuals. Indeed, you can use it to find out if your everyday objects have a possible level of radioactivity. You can also assess the level of contamination or radioactivity in the environment around you.
A reminder on the functions of the Geiger counter
The Geiger counter is a device which allows quantify the level of radioactivity of a substance by detecting ionizing radiation: beta rays, gamma rays, X rays. Since it is not possible to feel them or smell their smell, the only way to detect this radiation is ionization phenomenon performed by the Geiger counter.
The principle of operation of the device measuring radioactivity was devised in the early twentieth century by Hans Geiger, a German physicist. Later around 1928, it was Walter Müller who developed the device using Geiger principles.
Thus, this device has a Geiger-Müller tube, a kind of cylindrical metal chamber filled with gas at low pressure and provided with a metal wire. The meter is also equipped with a amplification system and a signal recording system. At the axis, the voltage between the metal wire and the cylindrical tube reaches 1000 V.
To summarize the operation, when ionizing radiation enters the Geiger-Müller tube, the phenomenon of ionization occurs. This is a detachment of electrons which proliferate rapidly under the effect of tension and thus cause further ionizations. An audible signal or an audible alarm is then sent to warn the user.
As for the units of measure of the device, there are two mainly used. We are talking here about µSv / h and mSv / h. to know how to differentiate them, you must first know that their context of use is different. In fact, the first is used in the measurements of doses of radioactivity found in a natural source. The latter should also have an eligible legal or regulatory rate. The second, for its part, is intended for use at risky and dangerous sources of radioactivity with very high levels or rates of contamination.
Note that the Geiger counter has other simpler functions apart from the detection of ionizing radiation. It can be a flashlight function or a date and time indication.
The criteria for choosing a Geiger counter
The Geiger counter allows simple measurements to be made, in particular exposure to a certain amount of radiation in a specific location and the measurement of radioactivity on everyday objects. On the other hand, it cannot capture alpha rays as well as excessively low levels of radioactivity. The object is still useful for the general public.
To find the best model among these radioactivity measuring devices, you need to consider certain points.
The care of
Starting with the ease of handling. Indeed, even though this is an invention of physics, you still have to make sure that the device is easy to use and understand. In this context, you need a meter whose data can be easily interpreted. Some models have the possibility of a Bluetooth connection. Still, the meter must be up to the general knowledge that characterizes the general public.
In general, the use of this kind of device is particularly easy. However, some models that incorporate additional features will be more difficult to use and require specific knowledge.
Next, you need to determine the extent of the radiation, which may differ from meter to meter. It's about the ability of the device to detect ionizing rays on a determined surface. To help you choose, you should know that an effective dose rate of up to 9.90 Sv / h (sievert per hour) is generally excellent. Measuring instruments with this capacity will have significant performance.
Note, however, that this does not mean that other devices with lower dose rates are not efficient. The dosimeters that fall into this family are perfect for a occasional use or if you are new to the field.
As for the gamma radiation detector and beta radiation, a high-performance device has a range of between 0.25 and 3.5 MeV for beta and up to 11.25 MeV for gamma.
The number of counters
You should know that the number of counters is a particularly important criterion in the choice of a survey meter. The reason is simple indeed, a double counter helps limit exposure. In other words, the duration of the measurement cycle will be severely limited, which means that the exposure time to each measurement will be shorter. Depending on the model, the measurement cycle may last 40 seconds. Other devices will be able to achieve record times in the order of twenty seconds.
To make a good investment, it is also essential to favor a recognized brand in the field. In this context, prefer those recommended by the Commission for Independent Research and Information on Radioactivity or CRIIRAD. Also find out about the services that brands can offer and the different contact possibilities they offer.
You should know that not all Geiger counter models that you will find on the market measure the same. Indeed, a measuring instrument of this basic type will only check gamma particles and beta particles. Other, more sophisticated models can offer measurement of X-rays and / or alpha-rays. Be aware, however, that the price of a Geiger counter of this type will be higher than that of any other basic model.
Finally, always think about the budget you are going to spend on the purchase of this device since the ranges are different with varying prices. If you've never used a Geiger counter, consider choosing a simple model. Otherwise there are always high-end devices with more specificities, the test of which will allow you to discover the real characteristics.
The Bluetooth Geiger Counter
With the development of new technologies, it is no wonder that the Geiger counter also has a bluetooth function. This allows the user to record and store the measurements from a mobile phone using a specialized application. Which, subsequently, gives the possibility of detecting radiation while moving. Data storage can be done by mapping. You can even share your results if you want to.
In short, the Geiger counter is a device that measures ambient radioactivity on a substance or in a specific area. The data can be read and interpreted without difficulty without you having to be a renowned physicist. Models and ranges are different from meter to meter.
However, with the basic information necessary for your purchase, which you got through this review, you can be sure to find the right model. You can then explore the radioactivity of the entire environment around you, whether it is a specific place, a food, the leaf of a tree or any substance whose radiation puts you in doubt. However, remember to use the device only when it is really necessary. This allows you to limit exposure and prolong use of the device.
What are the reasons for using a survey meter?
Also called Geiger Muller counter or dosimeter, this device is thus used to estimate the radiation of gamma particles, beta or X rays in a given location. Its use is therefore ideal in many situations while making it possible to resolve various problems. A device of this type is therefore used:
- For all those who work near or far on ionizing sources. They can be scientists, nuclear workers and even individuals interested in the field;
- To be able to measure the radiation level of places. This may concern the radiation given by coal for example;
- To determine the radiation that objects may have everyday ;
- By people who live near a nuclear treatment plant ;
- To know the level of pollution often contained in cancer treatments ;
- To measure the level of natural radioactivity found in food such as fish among others;
- For all those interested in radioactivity in the environment and harmful effects of it;
- To find out the level of pollution of the products used in radiology or in nuclear medicine ;
- For all those who wish to be reassured following a radioactive period ;
- For those who are passionate about the possible problems related to the concept of survivalism.
How do you know a dosimeter is working?
In order to know if the chosen model works, you will need a radioactive source. It is also necessary that the latter be harmless and of course, legal. In order to save yourself the trip to a nuclear power plant, know that you have diet salt. The latter is composed of chloride and potassium. You can easily find this kind of salt in supermarkets or the local grocery store. However, you should know that the radiations provided by this element are at low doses. If you have opted for a Geiger counter sensitive to nuclear radiation, it will react to it.
There is also another source of radioactivity that you can easily find. It is also legal and harmless and is therefore a very good alternative. We are talking here about uranium glass also called uraline. Its radioactive activity is more pronounced than that of potassium. It is therefore more interesting for carrying out your test. In addition, the uranium contained in the glass avoids any risk of contamination, which earned him an undeniable security. In addition, you can also find various items made of uraline in the trade. Indeed, several decorative objects or jewelry are made from this material. On the internet, you can search for the terms "uranium glass" or "vaseline glass" to achieve your goals.
Once you have the source of radioactivity, all you have to do is perform the function test of your new Geiger counter. Bring your device up to the material after switching it on. As the number of detections of your dosimeter increases, this means that the device is working. Otherwise, there is a problem and you will need to contact the seller of the product. It is necessary to specify that the distance required for the detection of a radioactive object at minor levels is one ten centimeters maximum. So be sure to respect this during your test.
Dernière mise à jour : 2021-05-09 02:35:03