Welcome to the Internet version of

The Particle Detector BriefBook

This is a condensed handbook, or an extended glossary, written in encyclopedic format, covering subjects around particle detectors, the underlying physics, and the analysis of their data. It intends to be both introduction for newcomers and reference for physicists working in the field.

This BriefBook has been prepared by

Enter The Particle Detector BriefBook

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You will access version 14, which is now also available as a book (order directly from Springer or from your preferred bookstore). The Internet version will be updated occasionally, and is not necessarily identical to the printed version.

In all cases, we appreciate your feedback: please send comments, error corrections, or your suggestions for new contributions, to R.K.Bock.


Part of the information has been derived, with permission, from a booklet FORMULAE AND METHODS IN EXPERIMENTAL DATA EVALUATION, published in 1984 by the European Physical Society for the use of experimental physicists (out of print since many years). This BriefBook is a major update and extension, but some original contributions by W.W.M.Allison (Oxford), C.W.Fabjan (Geneva), R.Frühwirth (Vienna), J.Myrheim (Copenhagen), and M.Regler (Vienna) are acknowledged. Parts related to data analysis were eliminated, they are now presented separately as The Data Analysis BriefBook).


Some comments on this Internet version of The Particle Detector BriefBook:

The html version has been generated automatically, using Latex2html version 3.1. Minor adjustments by hand were necessary; if in some places the html presentation is not optimal, we ask for your understanding.

Although itself available on Internet with multiple internal cross references, you will find practically no URLs of other external sites; we have found much interesting information with our browsers, but a good deal of it can be characterized as shortlived, unfinished and abandoned, unchecked, or sometimes even containing outright errors.

It is our intention to avoid these pitfalls as best we can: the BriefBook has been conceived primarily as a book, i.e. with stability in mind. The BriefBook is sure to contain some errors: we will be eager to correct them. In some areas, it is incomplete: we will include obvious omissions and let it evolve slowly towards other, related subjects. Updates, however, will be carefully grouped, and somewhat oriented along the lines successive printed editions take.

All this being said, we want to give here some pointers towards sites where definitely useful, sometimes more detailed, and hopefully long-lived information can be found:

  • HEPIC (High-energy Physics Information Center)
  • Learn about Particle Physics (a collection of URL's from the UK)
  • High-energy Physics concepts (a guided tour, by FNAL)
  • High-energy Physics experiments (Virtual Visitor Center, SLAC)
  • Particle Data Group (PDG) (with a section on experimental methods)



    Rudolf K.Bock, March 1999