Almanac: The inventor of the Geiger Counter

Almanac: The inventor of the Geiger Counter

And now a page from our "Sunday Morning" Almanac: September 30, 1882, 136 years ago today, and COUNTING ... the day the future physicist Johannes Wilhelm "Hans" Geiger was born in Germany.

Geiger developed a method for detecting and measuring radioactivity … an invention that eventually led to the device known as the Geiger Counter.

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The Geiger Counter, used to measure ionizing radiation. CBS News

A mainstay of science ever since, the Geiger Counter became a pop culture mainstay as well, as in the 1950 movie "Bells of Coronado," starring those seemingly unlikely cowpoke scientists Roy Rogers and Dale Evans:

Man: "What in the world is that?"
Rogers: "It's a Geiger Counter, used to locate radioactive minerals, such as uranium. ... When you put these earphones on, you can actually hear the effects of the atoms given off by the radioactivity in the minerals."
Evans: "Say, it sure is popping now!"

"Hans" Geiger died in 1945, just a few days short of his 63rd birthday.

But the invention that bears his name lives on.

     
Story produced by Charis Satchell.