Experimental High Energy Physics

Microcosm: Beyond the atoms

The research in Microcosm, in NCSR ‘Demokritos’, involves the search for the elementary constituents of matter, and how these form the atoms and the nuclei, and for the fundamental forces responsible for this formation. In general, it involves the sciences of Nuclear Physics, Particle Physics, Astrophysics, Cosmology and the General Relativity.

This research is conducted at a theoretical and experimental level. The experimental part is mainly done with the help of particle accelerators. These are the most powerful microscopes, since the bigger the energy of the accelerated probe-particle, which interacts with matter, the more detail we can see in the structure of matter. Sophisticated detectors are developed for the identification and measurement of the properties of the particles, which are generated in these interactions, in the accelerator experiments.

The developed experimental methodology can find uses in other sciences and in industry as well.

The structure of matter according to the Standard Model. The molecules are made of atoms, each atom is made of a positively charged nucleus surrounded by negative electrons. The nucleus consists of protons and neutrons, which are made of quarks.

The experimental group on High Energy Physics


The experimental group on High Energy Physics is mainly engaged in the CMS/LHC experiment at CERN. It is responsible for the construction of  a substantial part  of the preshower detector and the design and construction of subsystems for the Trigger and Data Acquisition  system. Members of the group are contributing to the CAST experiment at CERN
CMS Preshower for more info click here

The CMS preshower detector is specifically designed to distinguish neutral pions (decaying in two photons) from Higgs photons. The main components of the detector are two active layers of silicon detectors in xy geometry in combination with two layers of Pb which forces photons in early conversion. The detectors is implemented in the form of circular annulus (two at each end cap of the experiment), covers a total area of 16m2 and comprises 5000 silicon sensors with dimensions 6.3cm x 6.3cm segmented in 32 strips. Demokritos is responsible for the construction and installation of 500 micromodules and is involved in physics studies concerning neutral pions reconstruction. Multivariable analysis methods (neural net, likelihood) are being used for pattern recognition. In parallel contributes to the development of other data reduction techniques within the trends of the CMS physics analysis program
ΕΛΕΑ Data Acquisition, Monitoring and Analysis for more info click here

The laboratory for Data Acquisition, Monitoring and Analysis (DAMA) was established in 1999 to support the needs of the Elementary Particle Physics groups of the Institute of Nuclear Physics on the methods and technology of Data Acquisition, Monitoring and Triggering systems as well as on the Statistical Data Analysis methodologies. Additionally DAMA specializes on the design and construction of detectors based on novel detector techniques. These detectors can be used in Elementary Particle experiments and in other applied fields as well as in Industry and Medical Physics.

Τhe Data Acquisition System for the Micromegas detector in the DAMA laboratory of the Institute of Nuclear Physics.

The DAMA lab also contributes to the formal education by introducing novel methods for the teaching of science (see Eudoxos) as well as novel teaching instrumentation.
Data acquisition for X-ray imaging for more info click here

The system comprises a linear array of CdTe sensors, a custom-made PCI card and two application specific integrated circuits (ASICs), a front-end readout chip and a digital counting chip. The dynamic range of the system is extended from 30keV up to 250keV. As the readout chip includes also a polarity select circuit, the system is suitable for applications with both types of detectors, that are electrons or holes collecting devices. Due to the adopted readout architecture the counting rate achieved is extremely high up to 3MHz. In the expense of that, the measured noise was around 1200 electrons for the 2pF detector capacitance.

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