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Multiple Facets of the Poisson Distribution Applicable to Health Physics Measurements

Justus, Alan L.1

doi: 10.1097/HP.0000000000001013

This paper discusses several ways to view the standard Poisson distribution as applied to health physics scaler counts. The intent is not so much to present calculational details but rather to present some underlying concepts. Examples are provided that illustrate the various concepts for several types of specific measurements. The concepts presented involve purely Poisson-based contributions to variance; extra-Poisson variance is presently ignored, and any counting system would be presumed to function properly and without counting loss.

1Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, NM.

The author declares no conflicts of interest.

For correspondence contact Alan Justus, MS J573, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, NM 87545, or email at

(Manuscript accepted 3 October 2018)

Online date: April 11, 2019

© 2019 by the Health Physics Society