Radiation Detector Deadtime and Pile up: A Review of the Status of Science
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Since the early forties, researchers from around the world have been studying the phenomenon of deadtime in radiation detectors. Many have attempted to develop models to represent this phenomenon. Two highly idealized models; paralyzable and non-paralyzable are commonly used by most individuals involved in radiation measurements. Most put little thought about the operating conditions and applicability of these ideal models for their experimental conditions. So far, there is no general agreement on the applicability of any given model for a specific detector under specific operating conditions, let alone a universal model for all detectors and all operating conditions. Further the related problem of pile-up is often confused with the deadtime phenomenon. Much work, is needed to devise a generalized and practical solution to these related problems. Many methods have been developed to measure and compensate for the detector deadtime count loss, and many researchers have addressed deadtime and pulse pile-up. The goal of this article is to summarize the state of science of deadtime; measurement and compensation techniques as proposed by some of the most significant work on these topics and to review the deadtime correction models applicable to present day radiation detection systems.