Do-It-Yourself (DIY) Geiger Counters

Photo of circuit board with electronics, within a clear plastic box.

Each student in this class builds and tests their own Geiger counter. (Photo courtesy of Mark Chilenski. Used with permission.)


MIT Course Number


As Taught In

January IAP 2015



Cite This Course

Course Features

Course Description

This experimental one-week course is a freshman-accessible hands-on introduction to Nuclear Science and Engineering at MIT. Students build and test their own Geiger Counter, and so doing, they explore different types and sources of radiation, how to detect them, how to shield them, how to accurately count / measure their activity, and explore cryptographical applications of radiation. This course is meant to be enjoyable and rigorous at the same time.

This course was offered during the Independent Activities Period (IAP), which is a special 4-week term at MIT that runs during January each year.


An activity described in this course is potentially hazardous and requires a high level of safety training, special facilities and equipment, and supervision by appropriate individuals. You bear the sole responsibility, liability, and risk for the implementation of such safety procedures and measures. MIT shall have no responsibility, liability, or risk for the content or implementation of any of the material presented. Legal Notice

Michael Short, Mark Chilenski, and Matthew D'Asaro. 22.S902 Do-It-Yourself (DIY) Geiger Counters, January IAP 2015. (Massachusetts Institute of Technology: MIT OpenCourseWare), (Accessed). License: Creative Commons BY-NC-SA

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