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A large-area detector for precision time-of-flight measurements

Objective

"We propose to construct and prototype an innovative high-precision time-of-flight system suitable for large areas, up to tens of square metres. The TORCH (Time Of internally Reflected CHerenkov light) detector provides a time-of-flight measurement from the imaging of photons emitted in a 1 cm thick quartz radiator, based on the Cherenkov principle. The photons propagate by total internal reflection to the edge of the quartz plane and are then focused onto an array of Micro-Channel Plate (MCP) photon detectors at the periphery of the detector. A timing resolution of 15 ps per particle can be achieved over a flight distance of 10 m. This will allow particle identification in the challenging intermediate momentum region, up to 20 GeV/c. The TORCH detector is highly compact, and the technique will have wide-ranging use in particle and nuclear physics experiments, and especially those where space is at a premium.
The work involves a number of ground-breaking and challenging techniques. We will develop ultra-fast Micro-Channel Plate (MCP) photon detectors that can survive for several years in high radiation environments. The MCPs will be procured in industry to our specification with customized active area and granularity. We will also develop state-of-the-art electronics to read out the MCPs with picosecond precision. Photon imaging will be achieved with milliradian resolution over the large optical volume of the TORCH.
Whilst the TORCH detector has its primary application in the field of particle physics, the MCP and optical developments will also have applications in space physics, nuclear physics, as well as medical imaging."

Call for proposal

ERC-2011-ADG_20110209
See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

ERC-AG - ERC Advanced Grant

Host institution

THE CHANCELLOR, MASTERS AND SCHOLARS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD
Address
Wellington Square University Offices
OX1 2JD Oxford
United Kingdom
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
€ 818 692
Principal investigator
Neville Harnew (Prof.)
Administrative Contact
Gill Wells (Ms.)

Beneficiaries (4)

THE CHANCELLOR, MASTERS AND SCHOLARS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD
United Kingdom
EU contribution
€ 818 692
Address
Wellington Square University Offices
OX1 2JD Oxford
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Principal investigator
Neville Harnew (Prof.)
Administrative Contact
Gill Wells (Ms.)
EUROPEAN ORGANIZATION FOR NUCLEAR RESEARCH
Switzerland
EU contribution
€ 1 394 700
Address
Esplanade Des Particules 1 Parcelle 11482 De Meyrin Batiment Cadastral 1046
1211 Geneva 23
Activity type
Research Organisations
Administrative Contact
Svetlomir Stavrev (Dr.)
UNIVERSITY OF BRISTOL
United Kingdom
EU contribution
€ 454 460,33
Address
Beacon House Queens Road
BS8 1QU Bristol
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Audrey Michael (Ms.)
UCL Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Institute for Women’s Health
United Kingdom
EU contribution
€ 28 390,67
Address
Gower Street
WC1E 6BT London
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Giles Machell (Mr.)