The Pile-Up Problem in Pulse Fluorometry

  • B. K. Selinger
  • C. M. Harris
Part of the NATO Advanced Science Institutes Series book series (NSSA, volume 69)


In this first contribution we consider the single-photon counting experiment. This is followed by a discussion of the Poisson process. The most important function to be described is the zeroth pulse interval density, which corresponds to the experimental result. Only in the limit of a low mean photon count rate (as a ratio to pulse repetition rate), does this function correspond to the required true time-dependence of the fluorescence. In other cases either an electronic pile-up inspector must be used, or the zeroth pulse interval density function itself should be fitted. The distinction between electronics-limited (type E) pileup, and statistical TAC-limited (type S) pile-up is clearly made. Finally, (rather than earlier, where the issues are already confused enough), the nature and variety of dead times are considered in more detail.


Poisson Process Dead Time Optical Field Ocular Response Poisson Generator 
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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • B. K. Selinger
  • C. M. Harris

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