Particle tracking at 4 K: The Fast Annihilation Cryogenic Tracking (FACT) detector for the AEgIS antimatter gravity experiment

J. Storey, C. Canali, S. Aghion, O. Ahlén, C. Amsler, A. Ariga, T. Ariga, A. S. Belov, G. Bonomi, P. Bräunig, J. Bremer, R. S. Brusa, G. Burghart, L. Cabaret, M. Carante, R. Caravita, F. Castelli, G. Cerchiari, S. Cialdi, D. ComparatG. Consolati, L. Dassa, S. Di Domizio, L. Di Noto, M. Doser, A. Dudarev, A. Ereditato, R. Ferragut, A. Fontana, P. Genova, M. Giammarchi, A. Gligorova, S. N. Gninenko, S. Haider, S. D. Hogan, T. Huse, E. Jordan, L. V. Jørgensen, T. Kaltenbacher, J. Kawada, A. Kellerbauer, M. Kimura, A. Knecht, D. Krasnický, V. Lagomarsino, A. Magnani, S. Mariazzi, V. A. Matveev, F. Merkt, F. Moia, G. Nebbia, P. Nédélec, M. K. Oberthaler, N. Pacifico, V. Petráček, C. Pistillo, F. Prelz, M. Prevedelli, C. Regenfus, C. Riccardi, O. Røhne, A. Rotondi, H. Sandaker, P. Scampoli, M. A. Subieta Vasquez, M. Špaček, G. Testera, D. Trezzi, R. Vaccarone, S. Zavatarelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


The AEgIS experiment is an international collaboration with the main goal of performing the first direct measurement of the Earth's gravitational acceleration on antimatter. Critical to the success of AEgIS is the production of cold antihydrogen (H̄) atoms. The FACT detector is used to measure the production and temperature of the H̄ atoms and for establishing the formation of a H̄ beam. The operating requirements for this detector are very challenging: it must be able to identify each of the thousand or so annihilations in the 1 ms period of pulsed H̄ production, operate at 4 K inside a 1 T solenoidal field and not produce more than 10 W of heat. The FACT detector consists of two concentric cylindrical layers of 400 scintillator fibres with a 1 mm diameter and a 0.6 mm pitch. The scintillating fibres are coupled to clear fibres which transport the scintillation light to 800 silicon photomultipliers. Each silicon photomultiplier signal is connected to a linear amplifier and a fast discriminator, the outputs of which are sampled continuously by Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs). In the course of the developments for the FACT detector we have established the performance of scintillating fibres at 4 K by means of a cosmic-ray tracker operating in a liquid helium cryostat. The FACT detector was installed in the AEgIS apparatus in December 2012 and will be used to study the H̄ formation when the low energy antiproton physics programs resume at CERN in the Summer of 2014. This paper presents the design requirements and construction methods of the FACT detector and provides the first results of the detector commissioning.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)437-441
Number of pages5
JournalNuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research, Section A: Accelerators, Spectrometers, Detectors and Associated Equipment
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Instrumentation


Dive into the research topics of 'Particle tracking at 4 K: The Fast Annihilation Cryogenic Tracking (FACT) detector for the AEgIS antimatter gravity experiment'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this