Gamma spectroscopy laboratory

A.Y. 2021/2022
Overall hours
FIS/01 FIS/04
Learning objectives
The goal of this course is to introduce experimental spectroscopy techniques useful both for basic research and in numerous applications in various sectors. The student will use detectors of different types and will be able to acquire and correlate a number of parameters related to the quantities to be measured. Data analysis will be performed using computer programs that will allow the student to intervene externally in order to optimize the procedures to be adapted for their specific cases.
In particular with this laboratory the students will learn on the mechanisms of energy release by gamma-rays and the techniques for their measurement. The detectors used are both scintillators and solid state types. The best techniques for measuring time distributions will also be also learned. The data analysis uses the correlation between several parameters to arrive at the identification of the nuclei and at the construction of their level schemes.
Expected learning outcomes
The students will learn about the operation and use of scintillator and solid-state detectors to measure gamma-ray energy and life time of nuclear levels.
The students will learn to set up data acquisitions of multiple parameters and to analyze the data in order to deduce information connected to a specific nucleus from sets of data that for their nature contain information concerning several nuclei.
These techniques are the basis of the operation of arrays containing many detectors, used both for basic physics and for applications. Therefore what is learned here represents an important training ground for different career opportunities.
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Lesson period
Second semester
More specific information on the delivery modes of training activities for academic year 2021/22 will be provided over the coming months, based on the evolution of the public health situation
Course syllabus
Radiation sources
radiation interaction with matter
- light charged particles
- heavy charged particles and ions
- gamma radiation
General properties of the detectors
Gamma radiation response functions
Scintillation detectors
Hyperpure Germanium detectors

Experimental characterization of different types of scintillation detectors
- NaI
- BaF2
- LaB3
Experimental characterization of a hyperpure Germanium detector
Energy Resolution Measures
Efficiency measurements
Time resolution measures
Complex multi-parameter measurements
Reconstruction of the structure of the energy levels of 152Sm and 152Gd
Prerequisites for admission
Notions of electromagnetism and fundamental physics. Notions of statistical methods for data analysis
Teaching methods
Introduction to the course and to the measurements to be performed with lectures.
Measurement activities to be carried out in the laboratory using the available equipments. Data acquisition and analysis with computers and multi purpose programs made available to students.
Teaching Resources
Knoll: Radiation Detection and measurement
Assessment methods and Criteria
The final evaluation is a mark out of thirty obtained following an oral interview in which the general and methodological aspects of the laboratory activity are discussed. A written report is required that presents the results obtained and provide comments on them in terms of physical effects.
FIS/01 - EXPERIMENTAL PHYSICS - University credits: 0
FIS/04 - NUCLEAR AND SUBNUCLEAR PHYSICS - University credits: 0
Laboratories: 54 hours
Lessons: 12 hours
Educational website(s)
Friday afternoon (15:00-17:00) - We strongly suggest to contact prof. Franco Camera via e-mail