Radiation can be detected using a variety of laboratory instruments, such as a Geiger counter or a multichannel analyzer system. A proportional counter and liquid scintillation counter are other common tools used to detect radiation. These scientific tools are a necessity for any radiation detection because radiation can not be perceived by human senses.
A Geiger counter uses a gas-filled device called a Geiger-Mueller tube to detect radiation. If radiation is present in the tube, an electrical pulse interacts with the radiation when a high voltage is applied to the device.
Another instrument used to detect radiation is the MicroR meter. The MicroR meter uses a sodium iodide solid crystal and a photomultiplier tube. When radiation interacts with the sodium iodide, a pulse of light is created. Then the photomultiplier tube converts the pulse of light into an electrical signal so it can be read on an instrument reader.
A multichannel analyzer system detects radiation using a germanium or silicon detector, a photomultiplier tube and a sodium iodide crystal. This particular system can be used for gamma counting and alpha radiation. The multichannel analyzer system is also useful for counting solid and liquid matrix samples as well as detecting internal radioactive material found in organs and tissues.