1924, for German physicist Hans Geiger (1882-1945), who invented it with W. Müller. The surname is literally "fiddler."
Geiger counter Gei·ger counter (gī'gər)
An instrument that measures the intensity of radiation by detecting radioactive particles as they cross a metal or glass tube filled with gas, causing ionization of the gas molecules and producing an electrical discharge. Also called Geiger-Müller counter.
|Geiger counter |
An electronic instrument that detects and measures nuclear radiation, such as x-rays or gamma rays. The Geiger counter consists of a gas-filled tube with a charged electrode connected to a counter. As radiation passes through the gas it ionizes atoms along its path. The ions are attracted to the charged electrode, creating pulses of electric current that are registered by the counter.