-- NigelWatson - 07 Sep 2010


Detectors are devices used by elementary particle physicists in the search for a greater understanding of the subatomic particles which make up the universe. As well as detecting charged particles, detectors can be used to detect radiation, making them a useful tool in other aspects of science such as in nuclear physics experiments, nuclear medicine and geological exploration. This section gives a brief insight into the detectors which replaced the spark chamber.

A wide range of detector devices exist, such as the cloud, bubble and proportional chambers. All of the detectors along the same fundamental principle: the transfer of some or all of the energy of a particle to the detector mass, where it is converted into a a more readily observable form such as visible light.

The form in which the converted energy appears depends on the detector and its design. Gaseous detectors such as drift and multi wire proportional chambers (MWPC) output a current signal, whilst scintillation counters produces a light pulse. Modern detectors are electrical in nature and output pulses which are analysed by electronic means.

Before the development of the proportional and drift chambers during the late 1960's, the spark chamber was widely used as a triggerable track detector. The spark chamber itself was a development of the spark counter.

Topic revision: r1 - 07 Sep 2010 - 14:38:39 - NigelWatson
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