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Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences - Experimental Particle Physics

Detectors

ATLAS DetektorDetectors are highly-developed instruments used to detect elementary and composite particles.  For this, often whole detector systems are used for classifying the energy and the momentum (or speed) of particles and for determining the particle type.  The shape of the detector systems depends on their purpose.  They can be used either for defining the final state of a particle collision at a particle collider (collider experiments at LHC) or for gamma-ray photons or neutrinos (Cherenkov telescopes, neutrino telescopes) reaching the Earth's surface.  All these detectors exploit the same basic interactions of particles with matter.

For the detection of charged particles and photons their electromagnetic interactions are analysed.  Charged particles produce ionization charges while passing through light or matter (Cherenkov effect, scintillation).  The produced signals are amplified and converted into electric impulses in order to enable a computer-assisted analysis. 
Photons can produce charged particles through various mechanisms (Photo- and Compton effects, pair production) which can also be detected. 
The detection of particles which are primarily subject to strong interactions (like neutrons) or to weak interactions (like neutrinos) is accomplished by using the fact that electromagnetically interacting particles are produced in strong and weak interactions.


Detectors | Cherenkov Telescopes | Collider Experiments | Neutrino Telescopes