PHY6040 Particle Detectors Graduate Course
Dr. Chris Booth
(based on PHY411 "Aspects of Modern Physics" undergraduate option)
The following information is available for this course:
Recommended books Syllabus & Notes
Course Aims: To provide an introduction to the physics behind
particle detectors, the utilisation of that physics in practical instruments
and the applications of detectors in experimental apparatus.
Objectives: On successful completion of this course, you should:
understand how energetic particles interact with the matter they traverse;
be able to describe qualitatively how energy loss depends on the properties
of the traversing particle;
be familiar with methods by which atomic ionisation and excitation are
utilised in solid, liquid and gaseous detectors;
understand coherent effects in matter, and their exploitation in Cherenkov
and transition radiation detectors;
appreciate the advantages and disadvantages of shower detectors or calorimeters;
understand basic design criteria for practical detectors;
recognise appropriate applications for the different types of detectors;
be able to evaluate the performance of various simple detector designs.
Handouts: Handouts are provided for each section of the course,
consisting of copies of transparencies, with diagrams and other information.
Detailed notes are provided for the more mathematical sections of the material.
Problems: Problems are set on each topic, to be handed in the following week.
K. Kleinknecht - Detectors for Particle Radiation, C.U.P.
R.K. Bock & A. Vasilescu - The Particle Detector BriefBook, Springer
1998 (see below)
R. Fernow - Introduction to Experimental Particle Physics,
W.R. Leo - Techniques for Nuclear and Particle Physics Experiments,
G.F. Knoll - Radiation Detection and Measurement, Wiley 1989
Web version of The Particle Detector BriefBook:
Fabjan & Fischer - Particle Detectors CERN-EP 80-27, Rep. Prog. Phys. 43 (1980) 1003.
Sauli - Principles of Operation of Multiwire Proportional and
Drift Chambers CERN 77-09
Detectors for Nuclear and Particle Physics - Syllabus
Click on the link to see notes and supplementary material for
that unit on the screen.
Please note that these notes are neither a copy of nor a replacement for the material
presented in the lectures, both through printed handouts and other forms of delivery!
Aims of Particle Detectors
Determination of position, energy and momentum. Identification
of particle type (determination of mass).
Overview of a large experiment
in particle physics.
Interaction of charged particles with matter
(Main emphasis on relativistic, "heavy" particles)
Impulse approximation. Limits on the impact parameter.
Energy loss by excitation and ionisation. Bethe-Bloch formula.
The density effect.
Mean energy loss as a function of velocity; Range of slow particles.
Fluctuations in energy loss - Landau and Vavilov theories (brief).
Detectors relying on ionisation and excitation
Scintillation counters and photomultipliers. Time-of-flight.
spark chambers and flash tubes.]
Momentum measurements in a magnetic field.
Semiconductor detectors - hodoscopes, microstrips and
Coherent effects for charged particles
Cherenkov radiation and Cherenkov detectors.
Threshold and ring-imaging detectors.
Transition radiation detectors
Interactions of electrons and
photons with matter
e+e− pair production
Electromagnetic showers and energy measurement.
Hadronic showers. Fluctuations and resolution. Compensation.
Combined electromagnetic & hadronic calorimeters.
If you have any queries about this course, please e-mail me at
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