All particle physics, nuclear physics, and condensed matter experiments require instruments to detect energetic subatomic particles. These detectors are required to measure various kinematic properties of each particle, such as its energy, momentum, the spatial location of its track, and its time of arrival at the detector. Scientific progress often emerges from advances in detector technology. Such advances include: enhanced precision in kinematic properties; the rate at which particles may be detected, leading to improved statistical precision; and in reduced costs, resulting in larger systems with greater sensitivity to rare processes.
Over the last several decades, TRIUMF’s detector group has established an international reputation for developing, designing and constructing state-of-the-art detectors, as well as developing new detector technologies. New instruments have been successfully deployed in measurement.
All particle detectors ultimately produce information in the form of electrical signals that must be processed by electronic circuits, digitized to produce numerical data, which in turn may be further processed in real time and then recorded for further analysis. The initial signals may be so tiny that they need to be amplified by sensitive devices that have very little intrinsic noise. Continuing advances, in both this analog technology as well as in the digital processing devices and techniques, have played crucial roles in rapid enhancements in the capabilities of detector systems.
TRIUMF's detector fabrication and development expertise is based in the Laboratory for Advanced Dector Development.