Course Unit Page

Academic Year 2020/2021

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course the student will have a thorough knowledge of the particle interaction mechanisms with the matter and of the techniques to detect them. He/she wil also be introduced to an overview of the main detector technologies used in particle physics experiments. In addition, the student will be able to understand the difference between various detection techniques and better understand the basic apparata used in Particle Physics. Exercise sessions will be done to help students to become more familiar with those techniques.

Course contents

The first semester -- 6 CFU (lectures)

-- Elementary particles interaction with matter. Energy loss. Bethe-Bloch formula. The "range" of particles. Bremstrahlung. Photons: photoelectric effect, Compton scattering, pair production. Single and multiple scattering. Neutron interactions.

-- Outline of radioactivity. Radiation effects in the biological matter. Important quantities in dosimetry. Application of radioactivity in medicine, industry, archeology: examples.

-- General features of particle detectors. Sensitivity, energy resolution, efficiency of a detector.

-- Scintillators detectors. Organic and inorganic scintillators. Working principles. Light guide. Photomultipliers. Analisys of the signal.The scintillator mas trigger system, Time Of Flight and events veto.

-- Ionization detectors. Ionization phenomenology and gas transport. The proportional counter. The MWPC. The drift chamber. The TPC and TEC. The RPCs.

-- The Cerenkov detectors. Working principles. Applications.

-- The Transition Radiation Detectors.


W.R. Leo, Techniques for Nuclear and Particle Physics Experiments, Springer-Verlag

K. Kleinknecht, Detectors for Particle Radiation, Cambridge University Press

G.F. Knoll, Radiation Detection and Measurement, J. Wiley & Sons

F. Sauli, Multiwire proporrtional chambers, Cern-Yellow Report (Copy available in the Physics Department Library together with other useful material about other subjects)

Teaching methods


Assessment methods

Oral examination.

The examination at the end of the course aims to assess the achievement of learning objectives:

-- Thorough knowledge of the mechanisms of interaction of particles with matter;

-- Knowledge of the techniques to detect particles and characteristics required to the detectors;

-- Knowledge of the main effects of radiation on materials, the main dosimetric quantities and applications;

-- Knowledge of the main particle detectors.

Teaching tools

Lecture will be integrated with exercizes and seminars on particular arguments.

Office hours

See the website of Gabriella Sartorelli