This device can be used with different sensors to measure gamma and alpha radiation. It is particularly suitable for long-term measurements and for examining weakly radioactive samples. The photodiode has a smaller sensitive area than a Geiger-Müller tube and so has a lower background count rate, which in turn means that the radiation from a small sample is easier to detect against the background. A further advantage of a semiconductor sensor is that is offers the possibility of measuring the energy of each particle, allowing a more detailed investigation of the characteristics of a sample. The optional PC-based software displays the energy spectrum, permitting a very detailed analysis to be carried out.