Course Unit Page

Academic Year 2020/2021

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course the student will have an overview of the most recent particle detectors and the very latest developments that can be used in a large variety of experiments. He/she will be able to develop a simple experimental setup starting from a given problem.

Course contents


Radiation-matter interaction. Detector basics (recalls).

Light detectors

Organic and inorganic scintillators (recalls). New scintillator materials.

Silicon detectors for photons: Avalanche Photon Detectors, Hybrid Photon detectors, Silicon Photomultipliers.

Advanced track detectors

Semiconductor track detectors: properties, working principles, radiation hardness. Types: beam monitor, dE/dx, strip sensors, pixel sensors. Front-end electronics and readout architectures. Applications

Large Time Projection Chambers: working principles, architectures and examples.

Gas detectors based on electron multiplication foils (GEM): working principles, architectures and examples.

Neutron detectors

Neutron classification. Neutron interactions. Slow and fast neutron detectors.

Detector systems

Vertex detectors, tracking detectors, particle identification detectors, calorimeters. Experiment design principles. Examples and applications.




All the material available on IOL.

Several testbooks contain material of the course. Among them:

G.F. Knoll, Radiation Detection and Measurement, Wiley ed.

C. Leroy, P. Rancoita, Principles of Radiation Interaction in Matter and Detection, World Scientific ed.

Teaching methods

Front lessons and written exercises in classroom.

An assignment per student for the whole duration of the course.

Assessment methods

Assessment will consist of an oral examination.

During the first month of the lessons, each student will choose a detector paper among a set of papers made available: the exam will start discussing the design choices made in the paper and possible improvements available by using new generation detectors. The exam will continue with questions on other parts of the program.

For the examination, registration on AlmaEsami  is compulsory and must be made no later than 7 days before the exam.

Teaching tools

Slides and chalk on the blackboard.

Slides will be made available on IOL - Insegnamenti On Line.

Detector papers for home assignments will be made available on IOL.


Office hours

See the website of Mauro Villa

See the website of Alberto Cervelli