From Lawrence Berkeley National Lab: “A Next Step for GRETA: A Better Gamma-Ray Detector”

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From Lawrence Berkeley National Lab

November 7, 2018
Glenn Roberts Jr.

A rendering of GRETA, the Gamma-Ray Energy Tracking Array. (Credit Berkeley Lab)

A new high-resolution gamma-ray detector system – designed to reveal new details about the structure and inner workings of atomic nuclei, and to elevate our understanding of matter and the stellar creation of elements – has passed an important project milestone.

When this system – the Gamma-Ray Energy Tracking Array, or GRETA – is combined with an existing detector array called GRETINA (for Gamma-Ray Energy Tracking In-beam Nuclear Array), it will create a full spherical array. Gamma rays are highly penetrating, highly energetic forms of light that are emitted from excited nuclear states.

LBNL GRETINA installed at National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory at Michigan State University

GRETINA was completed in 2011 and has demonstrated the power of a gamma-ray tracking detector for nuclear physics. The U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) has had a leadership role in GRETINA and now GRETA. The GRETA project includes researchers at Argonne and Oak Ridge national laboratories and at Michigan State University.

Once complete, the detector system will reside first at Michigan State University’s Facility for Rare Isotope Beams (FRIB), a future DOE Office of Science User Facility that is under construction. FRIB will support the DOE Office of Science’s mission.

“GRETA will be a flagship instrument and a major workhorse for science at FRIB,” said Paul Fallon, GRETA project director and a senior staff scientist at Berkeley Lab.

GRETA will be used to study nuclear reactions in real time. It can study the creation of new nuclei as a high-energy beam smacks a target, for example – and detail the path of individual gamma rays through the detector, which is useful for reconstructing events to learn more about the properties of the event that triggered it.

“GRETA will have up to 100 times greater sensitivity than existing detectors for certain experiments,” Fallon added. “It will have both a high-efficiency and a high-energy resolution in measuring gamma-ray energies.”

Experiments that utilize GRETA will help to establish the limits on how many protons and neutrons can pack into an atomic nucleus and determine the structure of atomic nuclei.

See the full article here .


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