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 2.GQ Geiger Muller Counter
 Periodicity in background radiation
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Posted - 08/03/2023 :  08:13:20  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I am new to radiation and geiger counters, and just received my 500+ yesterday. I have set it up to deliver data to gmcmap,com, and have noticed a periodicity in the history data. I have not yet analyzed it statistically or even plotted it, so it is just from looking at the data on the website.

Is this a known property of background radiation, the specific tubes used, or the electronics, or maybe something specific to the area. I have looked briefly at nearby geiger counters, and it looks like they also exhibit similar behavior, however not as clear.
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2139 Posts

Posted - 08/03/2023 :  09:13:28  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
hi Andy, what do you mean by periodicity?
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Posted - 08/03/2023 :  09:42:12  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
It cycles through reading from approx. 8 CPM to approx. 20 CPM in quite regular time intervals. When I get the time, I will try to do some statistics on the data, because a pure visual inspection can be deceiving. I was just curious if this was a known property of background radiation or the equipment.
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Posted - 08/04/2023 :  09:01:13  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
@Andy, I bet this is nothing but statistics!

You can determine yourself: Get program GeigerLog and run its FFT (Fast Fourier Transform) on your data.

GeigerLog is Open source for free download from here:

You ask why such a function is even implemented in this software? Because, like you, I was almost convinced my Geiger data showed periodicity, so I implemented FFT ;-)). Nope, there never was one!

Oh, I correct myself: periodicity can be seen when you have a light-sensitive Geiger tube; which does happen quite often. Then FFT does indeed show you a 24 h Day-Night pattern. But if you can rule out light-sensitivity, then you'd be the first to find a periodicity!

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