LAB OF FUNDAMENTAL INTERACTIONS PHYSICS AND ASTROPHYSICS
The student will acquire knowledge of the main experimental techniques used in fundamental interaction physics and astrophysics research.
AIMS AND LEARNING OUTCOMES
The students will learn about phenomena related to passage of particles through matter and their application in designing and characterizing particle detectors.
The student will also study decay and scattering processes; will finally acquire the data acquisition and processing skills required to perform real measurements in the lab, to be discussed with correct scientific language and approach.
Passage of radiation through matter
Fundamental constants. Nuclear processes of radioactive sources. Units of measurement and characteristic parameters. Alpha decay. Beta decay. Gamma emission. Neutron sources. Law of radioactive decay. Cross section. Mean free path. Basic principles of radiation protection.
Interactions of heavy charged particles with matter. Bethe-Bloch formula. Definition of range. Cherenkov effect. Interaction of electrons with matter. Energy loss in collisions. Energy loss by radiation emission (Bremsstrahlung). Multiple scattering. Radiation length. Interaction of photons with matter. Photoelectric effect. Compton effect. Couple production. Electromagnetic showers.
General features of particle detectors
Sensitivity. Response function. Energy resolution. Efficiency. Dead time. Characteristic parameters. Ionization detectors. Ionization and transport phenomena in gases. Multi-function proportional chambers (MWPC). Drift chambers. Time projection cameras (TPC). Scintillation detectors. Organic scintillators. Inorganic crystals. Intrinsic detection efficiency for different radiation types. Photomultiplication detectors. Construction methods and parameters. Photocathodes. Dynodes. Response in time and resolution. Noise.
Data acquisition and processing. Signals used in nuclear electronics. Trigger systems. Signal transmission. The NIM standard. Pre-amplifiers. Analog-to-digital converters. Multichannel analyzers. Coincidence techniques. Treatment of experimental data. Review of statistics and error theory. Simulation of experimental data and Monte Carlo method. Methods for fitting and minimization. Presentation of experimental results.
Assembly of a scintillator telescope
Scattering experiment: Compton scattering and electron mass measurement
Particle detection experiment: muon mean lifetime and Landè factor.
CLAUDIA GEMME (President)
SANDRA ZAVATARELLI (President Substitute)
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The exam consists of an oral test in which knowledge and degree of understanding of the theoretical topics developed during the course are verified, also discussing the experimental results related to the experiments carried out during the year.
The exam, held by the professors, possibly assisted by experts of the subject, consists of a pre-set number of questions and the discussion of the experimental results related to the experiments carried out during the year.
The questions are asked in such a way as to be able to verify the degree of preparation of the student, his knowledge of the topics addressed and his ability to express himself using scientific language