PHYS7360 — Particle Detection and Detectors

With the recent discovery of the Higgs boson, physicists declare victory in finding the last piece in the theory, called the Standard Model, which studies the elements that make up the Universe and explains the interactions among matter as we know now. Yet precision measurements are still needed to fully characterize the Higgs boson, and to assertain whether it is the Standar Model Higgs, or it is the Higgs of Suppersymmetry, a theory that tries to include gravity in the quest of mankind to understand Nature. With the hunt for the dark matter and dark energy intensifies, particle physics moves into uncharted land, offering more intriguing adventures for generations of devoting scienticists. This course, together with many others in our graduate program, prepares young scientists for this exciting journey.

A particle is observed through its interactions with the detector, a group of sensors that record information along the path of the particle. In this course we will discuss the interactions we use to detect particles and the detectors we build based on those interactions. We will use the simulation software package called GEANT4 to help us "see" those interactions. GEANT4 simulates the passage of particles through matter and helps physicists to understand the responses of their detectors to passing particles. Innitially developed for applications in particle physics, GEANT4 finds a lot more use in Space programs and medical studies, even sometimes in semicoducting industry. As always, physics is the foundation of many sciences. We hope that this course will help you in your field, whether you are a physicist or not.

Syllabus and course information is available here.

Lecture notes are avaiable here.