Modern Physics

Particle Detectors

The identification and often visualization of subatomic particles is possible thanks to a device known as a Particle Detector.

Particle detectors are devices that identify subatomic particles, making them often visible, that is, they are based on transferring part or all of the radiation energy to the mass of the detector, where it is converted into a form more accessible to human perception.

To stop radioactive particles, the only possibility is using lead walls, and the main methods of detecting this type of radiation are:
• the so-called Wilson chambers (which trace the path of these radioactive particles in a gas saturated with water vapor , where ions are produced with a beam of X-rays, or gamma, that are emitted by a radioactive source);
• Geiger-Müller counters (responsible for the origin of the ionization chain that will indicate the amount or presence of radiation through an audible signal), and some other detectors that determine the number of these particles

Geiger-Mülller counter – Device used to measure the radiation emitted by a radioactive source, using the property of ionization (withdrawal of electrons) that the radiation has.

In nuclear physics, the ionization chamber functioned as one of the first detectors, which are devices responsible for measuring the ionization of an incident particle, in addition to being able to identify the passage of particles through pulses of electrical charge, produced in the detection.

There are also other types of particle detectors capable of allowing the observation of the trajectory traveled, they are called trajectory detectors.
• Nuclear emulsion chambers – are similar to photographic cameras, but with the difference that they are activated with charged particles.
• Bubble Chambers – allow the visualization of the trajectories of particles emitted by radioactive materials, and are made of a cavity whose volume can be controlled by a piston.
• Centella Chambers – particles that have a high energy index, ionize the air and gas that are between the charged plates.
• Spark chamber – passage of a charged particle through two metallic plates placed in a gaseous medium and very close to each other, the spark chamber causes a spark (spark) to jump between these plates. The association of several pairs of these plates allows the determination of the trajectory of said particle.
• Scintillation counter – counters in which the charged particle, when passing through the solid or liquid scintillating material, causes the emission of photons that will be converted into electrons due to the photoelectric effect.
• Neutral Particles – unlike charged particles, which are easier to identify, neutral particles need to undergo some kind of reaction that ionizes the material.

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