Gaseous Detector Laboratory


The gas detector group carries out fundamental studies on the physics of gas-based radiation detectors, and has resources for producing small numbers of detector systems for user facilities. Frequently involved with pioneering developments, the group initially made important contributions to high-energy physics detectors, such as the spark chamber in the 1960s, and the multi-wire proportional chamber in the 1970s. In the last two decades the group has continued to make significant improvements in gas detector performance and has also actively pursued their applications in additional fields such as biology, materials science and chemistry. The new century brings further innovative developments, with gas micro-pattern detectors providing potential enhancements to rate capability and position resolution, and easier, more reproducible fabrication methods.


The research and development of the group plays a key role in BNLs mission, particularly toward providing new detection systems for the major user facilities. Purpose-designed radiation detectors, often one-of-a kind, are designed and fabricated for use in forefront experiments at user facilities such as the NSLS and AGS. We look for solutions to the unique problems encountered by colleagues working on RHIC experiments through studies with prototype systems. Beyond BNL, we develop a range of advanced neutron detectors for experiments at national user facilities such as LANSCE at Los Alamos, IPNS at Argonne, the research reactor at NIST, and for future experiments at the SNS. We develop forefront X-ray detector systems for other DOE synchrotron facilities and plasma physics laboratories, such as the APS at Argonne and Princetons NSTX. We provide collaborative support for gas detector system design in CERNs LHC ATLAS experiment. Essential to this development of advanced detectors is a continual emphasis on studies of the fundamental characteristics of ionization and electron multiplication in gases.


This position sensitive neutron detector is the most advanced ever designed and fabricated by Brookhaven's Instrumentation Division, and covers a scattering angle of 120° with a radius of curvature of 70cm. Here, the detector is shown after recent installation on the new protein crystallography station at Los Alamos Neutron Science Center. The success of the first user run is reflected in a November 2003 Physics Today article.


Read more about the 120° neutron detector in the Brookhaven Bulletin.

Last Modified: Wednesday, 06-Feb-2013 22:33:56 EST