AGATA - Advanced Gamma Tracking Array
For decades, the study of the gamma-ray decay of the quantal states of the atomic nucleus has played a pivotal role in discovering and elucidating the wide range of phenomena manifested in its structure. Each major technical advance in gamma-ray detection devices has resulted in significant new insights into nuclear science. The worldwide consensus of opinion among practising nuclear spectroscopists is that the next generation of gamma-ray spectroscopy instruments should be based on a tracking spectrometer.
The AGATA project is a European collaboration (currently consisting of 40 partners from over 10 countries) to build the ultimate gamma-ray spectrometer for nuclear physics applications.
The proposed array will consist of 180 hexagonal germanium (Ge) crystals assembled into 60 triple-clusters and 12 pentagonal crystals. The shell of germanium formed will have an inner radius of 22 cm and will consist of 230 kg of germanium. This design will achieve a solid angle coverage of 80%.
In the UK, the Nuclear Physics group at the University of Liverpool and CCLRC Daresbury Laboratory in Cheshire have secured funding from the EPSRC to contribute to the design, construction and testing of the first phase sub-array. This will involve the purchase and characterisation of one detector module and the subsequent development of pulse shape analysis algorithms to allow interaction positions to be determined. The work will also involve the development of digital electronics for the detector readout of the germanium crystals allowing the implementation of real time solutions for the energy, time and position determination.
Prof. John Simpson
STFC Daresbury Laboratory
Warrington WA4 4AD
Tel: +44 (0)1925 / 603 431
Fax: +44 (0)1925 / 603 173