India is supplying silicon detectors that will play a crucial role in detecting sub-atomic particles that are expected to be produced after the collision of proton beams during the ‘Big Bang’ experiment being carried out by the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN).
There are 32 sensors in parallel which are meant to sense the particles emitted.
The detectors developed by defence PSU Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL) in collaboration with Bhaba Atomic Research Centre (BARC) will hold key to sensing the nuclear radiation expected to happen after the proton beams collide with each other in the 27 km long tunnel built undergound on the Franco-Swiss border near Geneva in Switzerland.
CERN has built a Large Hadron Collider (LHC) that lies in the tunnel will witness the collision of opposing particle beams at high energy levels. The experiment is expected to unravel most fundamental questions in physics and may shed light on the origin of the universe.
“The detectors being supplied by us (India) will be placed exactly at the place where the beams will collide with each other. The collision point has been made a globe like area of 40,000 cm square which will be covered with silicon detectors like these. Once the beams collide, the detectors around that place will detect the particles emitting at that place and define the properties of those particles,” Nikhil Sharma, Deputy Manager, Integrated Circuits/Wafer Fab and Semiconductors, BEL told Business Standard.
India is one of the collaborative countries participating in the experiment. BEL was earlier approached by the Ministry of Information Technology, Government of India to develop silicon detectors for the experiment. The experiment will require about 6,000 such detectors. Other than India, Japan, Taiwan and Russia are also supplying silicon detectors.
“Only collaborative countries who want to share their technology and gain from that experiment are participating in the experiment. By participating in the experiment, India can also get the experimental results out of the experiment,” he added.
Meanwhile, BEL has developed several by-products of the silicon detectors which could be used for applications like light detection, photo detection and different kinds of other nuclear experiments.