The Geiger–Müller tube is filled with an inert gas such as helium, neon, or argon at low pressure, to which a high voltage is applied. The tube briefly conducts electrical charge when a particle or photon of incident radiation makes the gas conductive by ionization. The ionization is considerably amplified within the tube by the Townsend discharge effect to produce an easily measured detection pulse, which is fed to the processing and display electronics. This large pulse from the tube makes the Geiger counter relatively cheap to manufacture, as the subsequent electronics are greatly simplified. The electronics also generate the high voltage, typically 400–900 volts, that has to be applied to the Geiger–Müller tube to enable its operation. To stop the discharge in the Geiger–Müller tube a little halogen gas or organic material (alcohol) is added to the gas mixture.
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