The possibility of efficient collection and detection of vacuum ultraviolet light as emitted by argon, krypton, and xenon gas is studied. Absolute quantum efficiencies of large area avalanche photodiodes (LAAPDs) are derived at these wavelengths. VUV light of wavelengths down to the 128nm of Ar emission is shown to be detectable with silicon avalanche photodiodes at quantum efficiencies above 42%. Flexible Mylar foil overcoated with Al+MgF$_2$ is measured to have a specular reflectivity of $\sim$91% at argon emission wavelength. Low-pressure argon gas is shown to emit significant amounts of non-UV radiation. The average energy expenditure for the creation of non-UV photons in argon gas at this pressure is measured to be below 378 eV.
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