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Proportional Counter : Nuclear Radiation Detectors

The proportional counter is used to detect & measure the energies of particles(α and β ) and also of photons. It operates under a potential difference across the electrodes which is such that the secondary ionization takes place but the output pulse is always proportional to the number of primary ions produced initially by entering particle (or photon).

The pulse height gives a measure of the energy of particles or photons entering the counter.
The proportional counter is thus able to distinguish directly by virtue of the height of the pulse between α and β particles &  γ rays. Since they differ in ionizing power.
Since α particles cause maximum ionization pulse height is maximum. On other hand β and gamma, particle causes minimum ionization, hence pulse height is also minimum for β particle and γrays.
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