At new detector school, students get hands-on

Registration for the 2012 EDIT school at Fermilab is now open.

Eager to build your own particle detector? Want to test it in an actual beam? Students at Fermilab’s 2012 EDIT detector school will have the opportunity to do just that.

Based on CERN’s Excellence in Detectors and Instrumentation Technologies (EDIT) 2011 school, the Fermilab EDIT 2012 program gives graduate students the chance to get their hands on actual particle detector components. This is unusual, since today’s doctoral candidates often enter the field with the detectors already running. These students then miss out on the construction, assembly and commissioning process.

“Graduate students come onboard to fully developed experiments,” said Erik Ramberg, chair of EDIT’s local organizing committee and a Fermilab scientist. “Detectors are a key to the business. This is a good opportunity to actually hook a cable up to a detector and get data from it.”

The school follows four themes: Fundamentals of Radiation Detection, Silicon Tracking, Photo Detection and Test Beam. Lectures will supplement the hands-on laboratory courses and the school will include in-depth tours of Fermilab facilities, such as the running neutrino experiments in the MINOS underground areas, the collider experiments and live demonstrations of noble liquids scintillation.

The EDIT school will accept 64 students and will take applications until November 6. The 2012 program is also a second chance for those who were unable to attend the enormously popular CERN school earlier this year. While CERN’s program did provide the basis for EDIT 2012, the Fermilab school hopes to be even more hands-on.

“There will be fewer tracks here, but they will be more in-depth,” said Aria Soha, Fermilab’s Test Beam Facility manager and an organizing committee member. “It’s going to be totally awesome.”

Brad Hooker