Heidelberg University

Detectors for particle tracking and identification

Silvia Masciocchi, GSI Darmstadt


Particle detectors are fascinating devices used to measure the characteristics (energy, trajectory, identity, abundance) of the multitude of particles existing in our universe and produced in collisions at accelerators. Progress and discoveries in nuclear and particle physics are made possible by experimental devices which are constantly developing and improving.
After a brief reminder about the fundamental interactions of particles with matter (it never hurts!), I will present some of the particle detectors operating in, or in construction for experiments at high-energy hadron colliders (from the LHC to FAIR, and possibly thinking of a Future Circular Collider).
We will discuss:
- semiconductor detectors for very high resolution track and vertex reconstruction (from microstrips to monolithic active pixels)
- gas detectors for large acceptance tracking and particle identification (from a Time Projection Chamber to straw trackers for fast readout)
- other techniques for particle identification (based on Cherenkov and transition radiation)
- basic concepts of calorimetry to measure very high energy particles (up to TeV muons at the FCC)

My goal is to concentrate on the working principle and function of the various devices (limiting the details on technical aspects), to understand well how many different detectors get combined in modern and future high-energy experiments to cover wide-scope physics programmes. By the end, we might discuss how to design our own experiment!

The lectures are addressed to both students with interest in experimental physics (also from areas other than high-energy colliders) and theorists!