This form of detection device is small, portable, and relatively
inexpensive. It consists of a metal tube filled with argon or neon and
kept at low pressure. Into the center of this tube a wire has been
anchored with high voltage set up between the wire and the tube. When
ionizing particles enter this tube, it ionizes the entrapped gas and
causes an electrical pulse. By adding up the number of pulses, the
intesity of radiation can be detected. This type of detector is good for
high energy beta particle producers, but not gamma rays or alpha
To what family of elements does argon and neon belong?
Why don't geiger counters accurately detect gamma and alpha?
Extra Credit! Why might some counters have chlorine mixed with neon in
the metal tube? Hint...Think about how the ejected electrons might effect
the counters accuracy..