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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.

One-of-a-Kind Detectors

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.

Techniques for Imaging Neutron Detectors

A new technique for imaging neutron detectors has recently been developed in our laboratory.  No longer based on proportional wire chambers, the new technique relies upon detecting the primary ionization created in the neutron-helium interaction without any multiplication.  This leads to a much higher rate capability and long-term stability. See full details in this PDF.

Gaseous Detector Laboratory