Detectors for Investigating Matter
Particle detectors come in many different designs and are used for a wide variety of applications. CERN in Geneva, for example, has large detectors and they are used to detect the tiniest particles generated in the world’s most powerful accelerator, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC).
For many physicists, it would be a dream come true to work on the particle accelerator at the CERN facility, which the general public has known about at least since the filming of the “Illuminati” movie by Dan Brown: The Large Hadron Collider at CERN has a circumference of 27 km and uses 9,700 individual magnets for beam guidance. It is also the world's largest refrigerator, with protons racing around the loop at almost the speed of light in temperatures of minus 193°C. To capture a billion proton collisions per second, particle detectors such as ATLAS, ALICE or CMS have been developed by teams of researchers and put together using high-tech instruments. These include the precision power units from the Heinzinger PNChp series or high-voltage power units from the PNC series. Units from the PCU or PTN hp series, for example, are used to supply current to the magnets.
PCU or PTN hp series, for example, are used to supply current to the magnets.
Inside the ALICE detector, a 10,000-tonne detector measuring 26 meters in length and with a diameter of 16 meters, a high-precision, 150,000-Volt power unit supplies the particle detection membranes. Up to 1,500 staff from all over the world work jointly on this project. With the help of the research findings, conclusions can be drawn on the composition of our modern-day matter. High-tech is therefore helping us to come up with proof for numerous theories regarding how our world came to be.
Derived Products for Medical and Diagnostic Technology
Often, these types of research project give rise to an industrial product. Compact particle detectors are therefore standard equipment in modern medical and diagnostic technology these days.
Modern medical technology uses detectors, for example, to generate superb-resolution, two- or three-dimensional images of tissue changes or cancerous tumors. Modern PET and CT scanners have therefore evolved from research projects, paving the way for treatment methods that just a few years ago would have been unimaginable.
A particle detector is even used in mass spectrometers. These are used to analyze chemical elements or compounds.
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