Better track leads to new particles

Dec 07, 2006
Better track leads to new particles
A simulated collision in the ATLAS detector. Credit: NWO

In particle accelerators new particles often arise as a result of collisions between elementary particles. However the track left by these particles is often difficult to trace. Dutch researcher Thijs Cornelissen developed an algorithm to reconstruct the particle tracks and that is being used in a European research institute for particle physics. His method provides greater insights into the origin of particles that arise as a result of collisions.

Last year, Cornelissen contributed to the development of the ATLAS detector of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), the new particle accelerator of the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Geneva. Material is made up of very small particles, which are too small to be seen with a microscope. These particles can, however, be studied using particle accelerators. A particle accelerator accelerates particles up to extremely high energies after which they collide releasing new particles. The particles produced pass through various components of the accelerator and the detector, before the detector makes a reconstruction of their track.

The detector measures the exact positions of a particle that passes through it. Using this collection of points, computer calculations can be performed to determine the track of the particle. The tracks are deflected by the presence of a magnetic field within the detector. This deflection is used to calculate the impulse of the particle.

The particle track is influenced by the material in the detector, such as the copper and aluminium found in the cables and magnets. The particles lose some of their energy when they pass through a layer of material, and this alters the deflection of the track. Multiple scattering of the particles also affects the direction of the track. In his PhD thesis, Cornelissen describes an algorithm that tries to correct for these material effects so as to achieve the best possible resolution on the track construction. This reconstruction is vitally important for determining which particles arose from the collision.

Cornelissen's algorithm has been tested with simulated data and has been applied to real data obtained by prototypes of the detectors that will be used in ATLAS. For example, tracks of cosmic particles can also be accurately detected and reconstructed. That is particularly important for the start of the LHC and the real measurements of the ATLAS experiment, which are planned to take place before the end of 2007.

Source: NWO

Explore further: New terahertz device could strengthen security

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Rosetta continues into its full science phase

9 hours ago

With the Philae lander's mission complete, Rosetta will now continue its own extraordinary exploration, orbiting Comet 67P/Churymov–Gerasimenko during the coming year as the enigmatic body arcs ever closer ...

New Horizons set to wake up for Pluto encounter

Nov 13, 2014

(Phys.org) —NASA's New Horizons spacecraft comes out of hibernation for the last time on Dec. 6. Between now and then, while the Pluto-bound probe enjoys three more weeks of electronic slumber, work on ...

What exactly is Google's 'cancer nanodetector'?

Nov 11, 2014

Last week, US tech giants Google made a splash in the media, announcing plans to develop new 'disease-detecting magnetic nanoparticles'. This was almost universally welcomed – after all, trying to detect ...

Galileo satellite set for new orbit

Nov 10, 2014

ESA's fifth Galileo navigation satellite, one of two left in the wrong orbit this summer, will make a series of manoeuvres this month as a prelude to its health being confirmed.

Recommended for you

New terahertz device could strengthen security

Nov 21, 2014

We are all familiar with the hassles that accompany air travel. We shuffle through long lines, remove our shoes, and carry liquids in regulation-sized tubes. And even after all the effort, we still wonder if these procedures ...

CERN makes public first data of LHC experiments

Nov 21, 2014

CERN today launched its Open Data Portal where data from real collision events, produced by experiments at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) will for the first time be made openly available to all. It is expected ...

New technique allows ultrasound to penetrate bone, metal

Nov 20, 2014

Researchers from North Carolina State University have developed a technique that allows ultrasound to penetrate bone or metal, using customized structures that offset the distortion usually caused by these ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.