The course aims to provide students with a complete overview of particle detectors used in elementary particle physics, astroparticles and medical physics. Starting from the fundamental mechanisms of radiation-matter interaction, semiconductor, scintillation and gas detectors are discussed together with their applications for particle identification, direction and energy measurements.
Expected learning outcomes
At the end of the course the student will have acquired the following skills: 1) will know the main mechanisms of radiation-matter interaction. 2) will be able to understand how to use the radiation-matter interaction mechanisms to obtain a measurable signal through electronic devices. 3) will know the main types of particle detectors: scintillators, detectors and semiconductor, gas detectors and ionization chambers. 4) will be able to develop a rough project and to optimize a detector design for position measurement and trajectory of charged particles (tracking) 5) will be able to develop a rough project and to optimize a detector for energy measurement of charged and neutral particles (calorimeters) 6) will know how to combine the different detection techniques to determine the type of particle under measurement. 7) will understand the structure of complex experimental apparatus such as those used in high-energy physics or in neutrino physics and cosmic rays.
Lesson period: Second semester
(In case of multiple editions, please check the period, as it may vary)
The course aims to provide students with a comprehensive overview of particle detectors used in elementary particle physics, astroparticles and medical physics. Starting from the fundamental mechanisms of radiation-matter interaction, semiconductor, scintillation and gas detectors are discussed together with their applications for particle identification, direction and energy measurements.
In detail, the following topics will be addressed:
- General properties of particle detectors. Resolution, linearity, efficiency, dead time. Detectors for measuring energy, time, position. - Radiation-matter interaction mechanisms: loss of energy for heavy charged particles, electrons, photons and hadrons. - Signal formation in ionization detectors. Induced signal and Ramo theorem. Transport of the ionization in a medium and drift velocity. Calculation of the electric driving fields and of the Ramo field in some simple cases. - Electronic signal processing, noise, preamplifiers. Amplitude and time measurements - Silicon-based ionization detectors, pn junctions. - Ionization detectors using gases with and without amplification - Scintillation detectors: organic and inorganic scintillators, Cherenkov light and transition radiation. Light collection and conversion into electrical signal. Examples of real experimental apparatuses. - Introduction to electromagnetic calorimetry: concept of electromagnetic showers and calorimeters. Main features of electromagnetic showers, sizing, linearity and resolution. Examples of real experimental apparatuses. - Introduction to hadronic calorimetry: concept of hadronic showers and calorimeters. Main characteristics of hadronic showers, resolution limitation and linearity, compensation techniques. Examples of real experimental apparatuses. - Algorithms for tracking the trajectories of charged particles. - Complex detector systems. Examples of complex experimental apparatuses that combine different sub-detectors for experimental measurements in high energy physics.
Prerequisites for admission
Basic knowledge of: electromagnetism, structure of matter, particles and nuclear physics. Integral and differential calculus, analytic functions, Fourier transforms.
The course is divided into lectures and laboratory sessions. In the laboratory sessions, numerical simulation exercises of the response of experimental devices (calorimeters and trackers) will be proposed to allow the student a deeper and more aware understanding of the topics covered during the class.
- Slides: https://rivelatoriparticelle.ariel.ctu.unimi.it/v5/home/Default.aspx - C. Grupen, B. Schwartz, Particle Detectors, 2nd ed., Cambridge University Press 2008 - W.R. Leo, Techniques for Nuclear and Particle Physics Experiments: A How-to Approach, Springer 2994 - G.F. Knoll , Radiation detection and measurements, Wiley 2017 - K. Kleinknecht, Detectors for particle radiation, Cambridge University Press 1998
Assessment methods and Criteria
The exam consists of an oral test lasting approximately one hour. The first topic to be discussed will be indicated by the teachers the day before the test date and will have to be developed by the student in the first fifteen minutes. This first part aims to verify the student's ability to organize a structured and in-depth discussion on a specific topic of the program using the material and references provided during the course. In the second part of the interview the results of the numerical simulation exercises will be discussed, normally they are presented by the students in the form of a report or transparencies. Finally, in the last part of the exam, the student's preparation on the course topics will be assessed, evaluating the basic knowledge, the skills acquired and the ability to deal with new problems by creating connections between the various topics addressed.