Very Radiation Hard Zero Degree Calorimeters for the LHC

  • Citron, Z. H. (PI)
  • Grosse, Perdekamp Matthias P.M. (CoPI)
  • Murray, Michael M. (CoPI)

Project Details


Application: 2017675 - Very Radiation Hard Zero Degree Calorimeters for the LHC BSF PI: Zvi Citron (Ben Gurion Univeristy of the Negev) NSF PI: Matthias Grosse Perdekamp and Anne Marie Sickles Champaign (University of Illinois at Urbana); Michael Murray and Christophe Royon (University of Kansas) Abstract Overview: The proposed research will provide for the development and eventual construction of new radiation hard Zero Degree Calorimeter (ZDC) detectors for the ATLAS and CMS experiments at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). The currently installed ZDC at the LHC are not sufficiently tolerant of radiation for the upcoming running of the LHC, and further their design is not compatible with the modifications planned for the LHC tunnels in 2024-2025. We will devise a robust Cherenkov light detector of unprecedented radiation tolearance. This will begin with a comprehensive regimen of radiation testing of each detector component, in parallel with tests of each component’s effectiveness for light production and transmission.

The results learned from these tests will be integrated into construction of detector prototypes whose performance will be checked in beam tests. The project will culminate with a final design for the ZDC.

Intellectual Merit: Functioning ZDC are key components of the physics program at the LHC, in the immediate future and as it begins operation as the High Luminosity LHC over the next decade. The ZDC will allow measurements pertinent to a deeper understanding of basic properties of QCD and QED, as well as searches for physics beyond the standard model. In particular, the ZDC is crucial for classifying Ultra- Peripheral Collisions (UPC) from Pb+Pb collisions, those collisions in which the photons produced by the extremely strong electromagnetic fields of the Pb ion beam, interact rather than a hadronic interaction of the two Pb beams. These photon-photon and photon-nucleus interactions allow observation of extremely rare processes, such as light-by-light scattering, are potentially sensitive to new as yet unobserved physics processes, and provide a clean penetrating probe of the nucleus. Interest in ZDC measurements began in the heavy-ion program, but the profound potential of these measurements to uncover fundamental physical properties has led to a broader interest spanning the larger particle physics community in UPC and other observables. In addition to the primary benefits stemming from the ZDC’s operation at the LHC, the R&D to produce such a highly radiation tolerant device will be a significant contribution to the field of instrumentation in high radiation environments.

Broader Impacts: The proposed research includes an important and intrinsic educational aspect. The research will include a large number of undergraduate students, graduate students, and post-docs. The roles of students in the project will be broad, and involve a strong engagement with both the physics questions being pursued as well as the laboratory aspect of devising a sophisticated scientific detector.

Besides the main contributions to the high-energy nuclear and particle physics community, the expected progress in the field of radiation tolerant detectors contains much potential for other fields such as dose monitoring in radiation oncology and instrumentation for space instrumentation.

Effective start/end date1/01/17 → …


  • United States-Israel Binational Science Foundation (BSF)


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