A transparent ceramic according to one embodiment includes a rare earth garnet comprising A.sub.hB.sub.iC.sub.jO.sub.12, where h is 3.+-.10%, i is 2.+-.10%, and j is 3.+-.10%. A includes a rare earth element or a mixture of rare earth elements, B includes at least one of aluminum, gallium and scandium, and C includes at least one of aluminum, gallium and scandium, where A is at a dodecahedral site of the garnet, B is at an octahedral site of the garnet, and C is at a tetrahedral site of the garnet. In one embodiment, the rare earth garment has scintillation properties. A radiation detector in one embodiment includes a transparent ceramic as described above and a photo detector optically coupled to the rare earth garnet.
The United States Government has rights in this invention pursuant to Contract No. DE-AC52-07NA27344 between the United States Department of Energy and Lawrence Livermore National Security, LLC for the operation of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.