Difference between GM Counter and Scintillation Counter

GM Counter vs Scintillation Counter

Geiger–Müller or GM Counter and Scintillation Counter are two commonly used devices to detect and quantify the radiation. The GM counter can detect all kinds of radiations such as alpha, beta and gamma rays, whereas the scintillation counter can detect only ionizing radiations.

There are considerable differences in the working principle and applicability of GM counter and the Scintillation counter. The present post discusses the difference between G.M. Counter and Scintillation counter with a comparison table.

Difference between GM Counter and Scintillation Counter

Sl. No.GM CounterScintillation Counter
Geiger Muller Counter WorkingWorking of Scintillation Counter
1The GM counters work by the principle of individual gas ionization.Scintillation* counters work by the principle of scintillation of crystals.
2In GM counter, by the ionization of gas molecules, both electrons and ions are produced.In scintillation counter, only electrons are produced (no ions are produced).
3GM counter requires relatively low voltage for working.Scintillation counter requires high voltage for its working.
4In GM counter, two electrodes are used to produce secondary electrons.A series of many electrodes are used to produce secondary electrons in the scintillation counter.
5Less sensitive technique and cannot detect minute quantities of radiation.Sensitivity is very high and it can detect very minute quantities of radiation.
6GM counter is less sensitive to γ rays.A scintillation counter is more sensitive and efficient to γ radiation.
7The size of the instrument is smaller than the scintillation counter.The size of the instrument is comparatively larger than the GM counter.
8Cost is lowCost is relatively high.

* Scintillation: The phenomenon of production of light by core of crystals when they absorb ionizing radiation.

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