Physics Department Colloquium
Gas-filled detectors the Darwinian Champions of Particle Physics
Time: 3:30 PM
Place: 2241 Chamberlin Hall (coffee at 430 pm)
Speaker: David Nygren, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Abstract: The first detection of single ionizing events occurred more than 100 years ago when Ernest Rutherford and Hans Geiger succeeded in recording alpha particles from radon decay using a gas-filled detector and an electrometer. Remarkably diverse and useful innovations followed and continue to emerge even today, establishing gas-filled detectors as the exemplary evolutionary survivors in nuclear and particle physics technique. Although this ample record has many interesting chapters, I will focus on my favorite topics within this humble corner of the quest to understand our universe. The evolution of these devices is interesting not only for their substantial contribution to experiment, but also for what was, surprisingly, overlooked as technology evolved.