The Geiger Counter Bulletin is dedicated to radiation detection in general – and to the noble Geiger Counter, an instrument with a significant historic role in the Nuclear Age. The trusty Geiger Counter is evolving. The modern, evolved, properly designed Geiger Counter is still often the best (and most economical) instrument for detecting radioactive materials in the home, workplace, and environment.
When choosing a Geiger Counter, it is important to find one with the right features for your application. We strive to answer questions about radiation detection, and common problems that are encountered in the field. Our goal is to present this information in terms that can be understood by the lay person as well as the radiation safety professional. The Fukushima situation is dominating the conversation right now, but that will change as the situation resolves there.
The Bulletin was conceived by Dan Sythe. Dan was introduced to Geiger Counters by his Father at an early age. He has been using Geiger Counters for for well over fifty years, and began designing them almost 40 years ago. His instruments have been utilized for protecting human health and for safety – in science, industry, education, security, nuclear arms control, medicine – and by journalists, citizen activists, advocacy organizations, hobbyists, safety enthusiasts and curious people throughout the world.
Danʻs most influential mentors include Dr. Karl Z Morgan, known as the Father of Modern Health Physics, and Dr. John Gofman, Founder of Committee for Nuclear Responsibility. Other important influences have been Dr. Roland Finston, Health Physics Director (retired) of Stanford University, and Dr. Anthony Greenhouse, Health Physicist with associations at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratories. He has worked with communities affected by Nuclear Age developments throughout the world, including downwinders from nuclear test sites, Chernobyl affected areas and Three Mile Island. In the security arena his specialized instruments were chosen for use by Defense Threat Reduction Agency to prevent smuggling of nuclear weapons during the break-up of the Soviet Union. After 9/11 his Geiger Counters were chosen by FDNY, New York State Police, New York Governor’s Office, New York EPA, and by numerous public safety, security and hazmat organizations throughout the U.S. and the world.
Another important mentor of Danʻs was Physicist Joe Jaffe. Joe was previously founder of Smith Kline Instruments, where he developed the first commercial diagnostic ultrasound imaging equipment – which almost completely eliminated the use of x-rays on pregnant women. Dan and Joe partnered on three successful ventures over 38 years with the hopes of making the world safer for their children and grandchildren.
Dan believes that the best medicine is prevention, and works to provide the best possible instrumentation and information to keep us all healthy. When dealing with controversial issues regarding radiation health and safety, Dan prefers utilizing the precautionary principle, erring on the side of safety whenever possible.
Dan is currently CEO and Chairman of IMI – International Medcom, a company he co-founded in 1986. Previously he was Senior Electronic Design Engineer at Astec/BSR, a Consultant for Silicon Valley tech companies, and a Founder and Director of Instrument Research and Development at SE International. Dan has also, with his talented team, designed a transport incubator for neonates, developed doppler fetal pulse detectors and a built a system for webcasting the live songs of Hawaiʻiʻs Humpback Whales.
The Bulletin draws information from a variety of sources and authors.