Induced Charge Distributions in Proportional Detectors


This monograph is a collection of methods for calculating induced charge distributions in gas proportional detectors of conventional geometry. These methods have been mainly taken from papers already published, in collaboration with colleagues, by the writer, but there are also additional notes and comments.

The task of gathering together this previously scattered work was originally motivated by the wish for greater convenience; to have the information all in one place. There was also the satisfaction of attempting to arrange material with a common theme in a logical and self-consistent manner. It is hoped, however, that the final result may also be of assistance or interest to younger colleagues working with proportional detectors, and perhaps especially, to research students just encountering them.

Special computer programmes for field calculations are now becoming more widely available, and their use is indeed necessary for tackling irregular geometry, and most three-dimensional, problems. However for conventional geometry detectors the theoretical analysis can usually be carried through to a sufficiently late stage that such special packages become quite unnecessary. The real advantage of employing this more analytical approach, however, is that a fuller, more productive understanding necessarily emerges of detector operation and of the basic physics involved.

It should be stressed that this monograph does not attempt in any way to present a history of wire chambers or proportional detectors. It is only a collection, restricted and specialised, of topics on induced charge calculation. General references have been given to help the reader, and of course previous work directly relevant to the establishment or development of a particular calculation has been acknowledged. However the background history of each topic has not been referenced; this would be inappropriate in a small monograph of such limited aims. If, within these limitations, I have unintentionally omitted to give correct priority to any research work then I apologise to those concerned, and would be grateful to be informed.

Theoretical calculations in isolation are totally barren. It is only in interplay with measurement and observation that they gain any meaning. I am deeply grateful in this respect to my colleagues Dr. G.C.Smith (Brookhaven National Laboratory), Dr. T.J.Harris (Leicester University) and Dr. J.S.Gordon (V.S.W. Sci. Instr.). Their special skills and knowledge have been essential in placing some experimental flesh on my theoretical skeletons.

E. Mathieson

Leicester University, England.

Copyright Notice

Although this is a private circulated report, copyright regulations nevertheless apply. Reproduction or photocopying of any part may not be carried out without the written permission of the author.

(Added in proof: it is with great regret we record that the author of this monograph passed away in January 1991, just shortly after its completion. Permission for reproduction or photocopying should be requested from G.C. Smith, Brookhaven National Laboratory, Upton, New York 11973.)

For more detail, contact Graham C. Smith (631) 344-4253,

This book (in Adobe PDF format) can be retrieved from here.

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