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[spin-thar-uh-skohp] /spɪnˈθær əˌskoʊp/
an instrument that detects ionizing radiation by picking up sparks of light from alpha particles.
Related forms
spinthariscopic [spin-thar-uh-skop-ik] /spɪnˌθær əˈskɒp ɪk/ (Show IPA), adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for spinthariscope
Historical Examples
  • But the most striking way of showing the emanations is by the little contrivance I call a spinthariscope.

    The Life Radiant

    Lilian Whiting
  • Sir William Crookes invented this radium light apparatus and called it a "spinthariscope," which is Greek for "spark-seer."

    Creative Chemistry

    Edwin E. Slosson
  • A simple form of apparatus called the spinthariscope has been devised to show these scintillations.

    A Brief Account of Radio-activity Francis Preston Venable
British Dictionary definitions for spinthariscope


a device for observing ionizing radiation, consisting of a tube with a magnifying lens at one end and a phosphorescent screen at the other. A particle hitting the screen produces a scintillation
Word Origin
C20: from Greek spintharis a little spark + -scope
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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