What are particle detectors?

Particle detectors come in different sizes and varieties. One of the detectors located at Fermilab is called the D0 detector (fig 1). As particles go through this detector, they leave evidence of their passage and this is converted to an electronic signal that can be read into a computer. The detectors closest to the beam are used to figure out the particle's position (fig 2,3). They can measure a distance to a precision 10 times smaller than the size of human hair and are made of silicon (fig 4). Other detectors surround these position detectors and detect energy by trying to stop the particle using a very dense material (fig 5). A large group of scientists operate the detectors because they are very complicated. | Learn more about accelerators.