Degree course: 
Corso di Second cycle degree in PHYSICS
Academic year when starting the degree: 
Academic year in which the course will be held: 
Course type: 
Compulsory subjects, characteristic of the class
Second semester
Standard lectures hours: 
Detail of lecture’s hours: 
Lesson (66 hours)

The student is supposed to know the fundamentals of interaction of radiation with matter and basics of the structure of matter. Attendance of the course on particle detection and electronics is a plus but it is not essential: the course is self-consistent.

Final Examination: 

Throughout the course, the student is expected to discuss with the professor in charge and the instructors the evolution of the running experiment and the in itinere results. The final outcome will be presented and discussed in a seminar addressed to the class and the professor's research team. The evaluation is based on the commitment, the analysis and synthesis capability, the level of originality of the proposed solutions.

Voto Finale

The main goal of the course is to bring the student up-to-date in the field of instruments and methods for the detection of elementary particles of matter and light. By the end of the activities, the student is expected to be able to properly design simple experiments, set them up, perform them, collect and analyse data. Data analysis techniques are as relevant as detectors and will be treated on equal foot.

The course will be nested in the research activities of the team lead by the professor in charge, so specific activities will possibly change accordingly. As exemplary illustration, the student will be guided through the problem of detecting fast neutrons and discriminate the nature of the interacting particle with respect to the hypothesis of the signal being originated by a gamma ray. This involves several steps: choice of the technique, identification of a discriminating variable, optimisation of the detector operation, comparison of several data analysis techniques, from parametric ones applicable to real-time response to advanced non linear methods till machine learning algorithms. The example is actually key to the development of homeland security protocols for the protection against illicit trafficking of radioactive material.

The fundamentals have been already reported above. However, a provisional framework can be detailed as follows:
- lectures on:
a. solid state detectors of particles and photons: essentials and beyond
b. exemplary applications in particle physics and beyond
c. neutron detection techniques
d. description of the specific set-up in use
e. the experimental problem
f. possible solutions for gamma/neutron discrimination
g. classes of applicable algorithms
h. experiment design

- lab activities: set-up, characterisation, calibration & qualification, data recording

- data analysis: comparison of different approaches and final outcome

There are no textbooks but rather research papers connected to the specific field of investigation.

The course is a comprehensive series of lectures and laboratory activities. Lectures will provide the fundamentals behind the state-of-the-art detectors in use and the related data analysis techniques. Lab activities are actually the core of the course, both in terms of instrumentation and data analysis. The latter will preferentially be based on the MATLAB platform.