87990 - Laboratory of Nuclear and Subnuclear Physics 1

Course Unit Page

Academic Year 2022/2023

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

Passage of charged particles through matter

- Energy loss by ionisation: the Bethe-Bloch formula for heavy particles. Derivation of the formula. Density and shell corrections. Maximum energy transfer. Energy dependence of the energy loss. Fluctuation in energy loss. Particle ranges. Energy loss by ionisation: the Bethe-Bloch formula for electrons (e±). Radiation length.

- Multiple scattering and energy straggling (Gaussian and Landau limits)

- Energy loss by radiation: bremsstrahlung. Comparison between energy loss by ionisation and radiation. Critical energy

- Energy loss by radiation: Cherenkov radiation

Passage of photons through matter

Photoelectric effect. Compton effect. Pair production.

Neutron interactions in matter

Elastic scattering. Inelastic scattering. Capture reactions.

Development of showers in matter

Electromagnetic showers. Hadronic showers.

Radioactivity and radiation protection

Physical and protection quantities used in Dosimetry. Radiation effects in the biological matter

Particle detectors: general features

Efficiency. Energy resolution. Spatial resolution. Time resolution. Dead time

Ionisation detectors: gaseous detectors

General physical processes. Energy loss in gases. Electron-Ion pair creation. Recombination and attachment. Diffusion. Drift and mobility. Avalanche multiplication

Gaseous detectors. From the Proportional Counter to the Multiwire Proportional Chamber (MWPC). From the Drift Chamber to the Time Projection Chamber (TPC). From the Resistive Plate Chamber (RPC) to the Multigap Resistive Plate Chamber (MRPC).

Ionisation detectors: semiconductor detectors

Material requirements. Detector configurations. Bias Voltage. Signal formation. Temperature effects. Silicon Photomultiplier (SiPM)

Scintillation detectors

Scintillation mechanism and general properties (light yield and linearity). Organic Scintillators (liquid and plastic). Inorganic Scintillators (crystals). Gaseous Scintillators. Photomultipliers (PM).


All the material available on VIRTUALE.

Several testbooks contain material of the course. Among them:

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

Teaching methods

Front lessons and written exercises in classroom. Lecture will be integrated with seminars on particular arguments.

Assessment methods

Oral examination.

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

-- mechanisms of interaction of particles with matter;

-- physical principles and techniques of the main particle detectors.

Teaching tools

Slides (available on VIRTUALE) chalk on the blackboard.

Office hours

See the website of Gilda Scioli

See the website of Gabriella Sartorelli