University of Surrey - Guildford

Registry > Module Catalogue
View Module List by A.O.U. and Level  Alphabetical Module Code List  Alphabetical Module Title List  Alphabetical Old Short Name List  View Menu 
2010/1 Module Catalogue
Module Provider: Physics Short Name: PPDETECTORS
Level: M Module Co-ordinator: SELLIN PJ Prof (Physics)
Number of credits: 15 Number of ECTS credits: 7.5
Module Availability
Semester 2
Assessment Pattern
Unit(s) of Assessment Weighting Towards Module Mark( %)
Coursework: problem sheets and exercises plus Open Notes Test - 100%
Part-time Students: Same as for full-time students
Qualifying Condition(s): Physics programme regulations refer.
Module Overview

The module explores some of the scientific questions being addressed in the fields of experimental particle physics, including high energy physics, neutrino physics etc. The student is introduced to some of the experimental techniques that are used to study the particle phenomena. The focus is on the demands those scientific requirements place on the detector technology and current state-of-the-art technologies.

This module is taught at the University of Sussex.

Students should normally have an undergraduate degree in Physics or Mathematics
Module Aims

Specific aims are to provide students with:
(i) An introduction to some of the basic concepts of particle physics
(ii) An overview of some of the topical cutting edge questions in the field
(iii) An understanding of some key types of experiments
(iv) A detailed understanding of the underlying detector technologies

Learning Outcomes

After successfully completing the module, the students will be able to:
(i) Demonstrate a basic understanding of the standard model of particle physics and the observable phenomena from particle interactions
(ii) Discuss some key classes of experiments and answer quantitative questions regarding their design
(iii) Critically evaluate different detector technologies
(iv) Perform basic simulations of detector behaviour

Module Content

1. Intro to particle structure (6 hours)
(i) Particles and forces, masses and lifetimes
(ii) Coupling strengths and interactions
(iii) Cross sections and decays

2. Accelerators (6 hours)
(i) Principles of acceleration
(ii) Kinematics, center of mass
(iii) Fixed target experiments, colliders

3. Reactors (6 hours)
(i) Nuclear fission reactors, fission reactions, types of reactors
(ii) Neutron sources, absorption and moderation, neutron reactions
(iii) Nuclear fusion, solar and fusion reactors

4. Detectors (9 hours)
(i) Gaseous
(ii) Liquid (scintillator, cerenkov, bubble chamber)
(iii) Solid-state
(iv) Scintillation
(v) Calorimeters, tracking detectors
(vi) Particle identification

5. Monte Carlo modelling (3 hours)

Methods of Teaching/Learning

Lectures: 30 hours of formal lectures
Private study of specified articles 
The module is assessed via coursework (3 problem sheets – 20% each) and one Open Notes Test (40%).

Selected Texts/Journals

Selected Texts/Journals
Primary texts:
1. W.R. Leo - Techniques for Nuclear and Particle Physics Experiments, Springer-Verlag 1987
2. G.F. Knoll - Radiation Detection and Measurement, Wiley
3. R.K. Bock & A. Vasilescu - The Particle Detector BriefBook, Springer 1998 - available as internet version at

Secondary texts:
1. R. Fernow - Introduction to Experimental Particle Physics, C.U.P. 1986
2. K. Kleinknecht - Detectors for Particle Radiation, C.U.P.

Last Updated

17th December 2010