Traveling with the Atom

Allegheny College

Compiled by Glen E. Rodgers
Jennifer Sexton 

Geiger- Müller counter, invented by Geiger. The Geiger-Müller counter detects alpha particles (helium nuclei), beta particles (electrons), and gamma particles
Hans Geiger (Johannes Wilhelm Geiger)
German Nuclear Physicist
A picture of Geiger and Rutherford. (Picture of the property of Manchester University)

Inventor of the Geiger Counter
Geiger was received his Ph.D. in 1906 from the University of Erlangen. Geiger was one of the most valuable collaborators of Ernest Rutherford, in Manchester England He worked with Rutherford from 1906 to 1912. In 1911, Geiger and Rutherford devised the first version of the Geiger counter to count the number of alpha particles and other ionizing radiation. Geiger used his counter in early experiments that helped led to the identification of the alpha particles as the nucleus of the helium atom. The counter also helped demonstrated that alpha particles had two units of charge. Many theories of radioactivity were also found and demonstrated by Geiger. In 1910, with Rutherford, they showed that two alpha particles are emitted in the radioactive decay of uranium. In 1912, with J. M. Nuttal, they proved that radioactive decay of uranium is caused by two uranium isotopes. They formed a rule of 1911 called Geiger-Nuttall, which states that the relationship is linear between the logarithm of the range of alpha particles and the radioactive time constant, which is involved in the rate of decay of emitting nucleus.

Web Sources of Biographical Information
Background and Contributions of Hans Geiger 
Splitting the atom
The Geiger Counter

Some Web Sources on the History of Atomic Scientists:
The History of Chemistry 1992 Woodrow Wilson Summer Institute
Selected Classic Papers from the History of Chemistry
Classic Papers from the History of Chemistry (and Some Physics too)
Classic Chemistry compiled by Carmen Giunta
History of Science website by Charlesworth
Center for the History of Physics
Echo Exploring & Collecting History Online
Atom: The Incredible World: The History of Atomistics
Nobel Prize WebPage
Biographies of Famous Chemists, University of Liverpool
University of Pennsylvania Biographies
Chemistry: A History
Famous Scientists greatly who contributed to "electro" science: electricity, electromagnetism,
electrical technology, electronics, electrical telegraphy, radio, electrochemistry, electromedicine, etc.
Elements and Atoms: Case Studies in the Development of Chemistry

Selected Biographical Books, Sections of Books, and Articles
Full biographical information on Sacks' book Uncle Tungsten pp. 288, 299n
Full biographical information on Asimov's Biographical Encyclopedia of Science and Technology Pages in Asimov home page
Barnes and Noble home page

Some Scientific/Historical Traveling Sites
Science Museum, London
University of Manchester
Find a Grave Website

* see following Rodgers link to scientific/historical sites for further information.
(1) Taken from The Scientific Traveler, Charles Tanford and Jacqueline, John Wiley & Sons, NY (1992).
(2) Taken from A Travel Guide to Scientific Sites of the British Isles, Charles Tanford and Jacqueline Reynolds, John Wiley & Sons, NY (1995).
(3) Taken from Guide of Eurpoean Museums with collections on History of Chemistry, compiled by Jan W. van Spronsen, Federation of European Societies, Antwerp (1996)

Links to Dr. Rodgers' Scientific/Historical Sites will be available here.

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