Dual Nature of Radiation and Matter

Radiation Detector

Radiation detector refers to an instrument that facilitates the sensing and measurement of radiation emissions or levels of radiation whose production is by a source. Furthermore, a radiation detector or particle detector is a device that facilitates the measurement of the ionization of various types of radiation. Moreover, some types of these radiations are gamma radiation, beta radiation, and alpha radiation with the matter.

Introduction to Radiation Detector

Radiation Detector is an instrument that facilitates the detection and identification of high-energy particles. Furthermore, these high-energy particles are those whose production takes place by cosmic radiation, nuclear decay, or reactions in a particle accelerator. Also, the development of the electronic detectors began with the invention of the transistor.

Modern detectors use calorimeters for the measurement of the detected radiation energy. Furthermore, experts use them for the measurement of other attributes like charge, spin, momentum, etc. of the particles.

radiation detector

                                                                                                           Radiation Detector

Types of Radiation Detector

The types of radiation detector are as follows:


When excited by ionizing radiation, there would be an exhibition of scintillation by a scintillator. Moreover, this scintillation is the property of luminescence. Most noteworthy, a scintillator detects radiation when it is coupled to an electronic light sensor like silicon photomultiplier, photodiode, or photomultiplier tube (PMT).

Scintillator-type detectors facilitate the conversion of light into electrical pulses. For this purpose, they use vacuum tubes.

Gaseous Ionization Detectors

The use of a radiation detection instrument takes place in particle physics for the detection of the presence of ionizing particles. Moreover, the use of this radiation detection instrument takes place in radiation protection applications for the measurement of ionizing radiation. Most noteworthy, this radiation detection instrument is Gaseous ionization detector.

Geiger Counter

Geiger-Mueller counter, also known as the Geiger counter, is a very popular radiation detector device. Furthermore, there is a collection of the ionization produced by incident radiation by using a central wire in between a gas-filled tube at high voltage. Most importantly, the Geiger counter can detect gamma, alpha, and beta radiation, even if it cannot distinguish between them.

Types of Radiation

The types of radiation detected by a radiation detector are alpha, beta, and gamma radiation.

Alpha radiation

Alpha particles are the fast-moving helium atoms. Furthermore, these particles have energy that ranges in MeV. Low penetration depth is a characteristic of alpha particles.

This low penetration depth is typically a few cms of air or skin. Also, this low penetration depth is due to its large mass.

Beta radiation

Beta particles are fast-moving electrons. Furthermore, the energy of beta particles ranges from hundreds of KeV to several MeV.

Because of their comparatively lighter mass, beta particles have better penetration depth in comparison to the alpha particles. Also, the penetration depth of beta particles can be several feet of air or several millimetres of lighter materials.

Gamma radiation

Gamma particles are the stream of photons. Typically, the energy of gamma particles ranges from Several KeV to Several MeV.

Gamma particles are characterized by comparatively very low mass. Consequently, they have a good penetration depth, which is typically a few inches of lead.

FAQs For Radiation Detector

Question 1: What is meant by an alpha particle?

Answer 1: An alpha particle consists of two neutrons and two protons, the equivalent of the helium atom’s nucleus. Ionization of the material that comes into contact with alpha particles readily happens. Moreover, there would be a transfer of energy to that material’s electrons.

An alpha particle can travel several millimetres in air, but there would be a decrease in its range with increasing density of the medium. For example, there is no penetration of the alpha particles to the outer layer of human skin, but once inhaling happens, there can be damage to lung tissue due to alpha particle.

Question 2: What is meant by gamma rays?

Answer 2: Gamma rays are, simply speaking, is electromagnetic radiation. Furthermore, a radioactive element may emit gamma rays if the nucleus, which remains after alpha or beta decay, is in a state of excitement. The penetration of gamma rays can be much deeper in comparison to the alpha or beta particles.

Share with friends
Customize your course in 30 seconds

Which class are you in?

Get ready for all-new Live Classes!
Now learn Live with India's best teachers. Join courses with the best schedule and enjoy fun and interactive classes.
Ashhar Firdausi
IIT Roorkee
Dr. Nazma Shaik
Gaurav Tiwari
Get Started
Customize your course in 30 seconds

Which class are you in?

No thanks.