Radiation detection is achieved through the use of a variety of instruments. The most common type of radiation detector is a Geiger-Mueller (GM) tube, also called a Geiger counter. There are several methods and equipment used to detect radiation. These are film badges, gas ionization devices, Geiger-Muller counters, radon detectors, personal radiation detectors, fog chambers, and scintillation counters.
As an alternative to Geiger Mueller detectors, scintillation detectors detect even the smallest amounts of artificial radioactivity. They are especially useful when looking for small amounts of hidden or shielded radiation. Many have the ability to identify the radioactive isotope as well. Scintillation detectors can function as stand-alone instruments for safety monitoring events, or can be combined with a Geiger Muller detector to provide personal dose detection and monitoring capability at extremely high dose rates.
The second major type of detectors used in radiation detection instruments are scintillation detectors. As the name implies, the topographic meter is a portable radiation detector, which typically measures the amount of radiation present and provides this information on a numerical display in units of counts per minute, counts per second, or microroentgen (µR) or microrem (µrem) per hour. Various methods and equipment are used to detect radiation, such as film plates, gas ionization devices, Geiger-Muller counters, radon detectors, personal radiation detectors, fog chambers, and scintillation counters. When talking about radiation detection instruments, there are three types of detectors that are most often used, depending on the specific needs of the device.
These range from large fog chambers to personal portable devices, which is a counter used to detect radiation. Photographic film plates can be used to detect radiation as ionizing particles interact with the film to change the optical density of the film. Radiation can be detected by other means, in addition to ionization of gases, particularly in laboratory environments. An RIID is a radiation detector with the ability to analyze the energy spectrum of radiation, in order to identify the specific radioactive material (radionuclide) that emits the radiation.
These indicate high levels of radiation for some time, while the other detectors indicate levels of radiation at that point. A particular meter, known as a teletector, is specifically designed to detect gamma and x-ray radiation.