Risorse bibliografiche
Risorsa bibliografica obbligatoria
Risorsa bibliografica facoltativa
Scheda Riassuntiva
Anno Accademico 2018/2019
Scuola Scuola di Ingegneria Industriale e dell'Informazione
Docente Caresana Marco
Cfu 10.00 Tipo insegnamento Monodisciplinare
Didattica innovativa L'insegnamento prevede  2.0  CFU erogati con Didattica Innovativa come segue:
  • Blended Learning & Flipped Classroom

Corso di Studi Codice Piano di Studio preventivamente approvato Da (compreso) A (escluso) Insegnamento

Obiettivi dell'insegnamento

The course aims at giving to the student a complete knowlegde of the common techniques of detection of nuclear radiation, with a special focus nuclear measures of interest for nuclear installations, scientific research, radiation protection, environmental monitoring of natural and artificial radionuclides, technological and medical applications and in general for nuclear engineering.

These topics are taught with the degree of detail required for a professional use. Several lab sessions permit  the student to experience the practical application of the most important concepts taught in class. Part of the labs are delivered in the flipped classroom modality for a better involvement of the students especially in the applying knowledge and understanding.

The course ends with lectures or seminars on nuclear measurements held by external lecturers chosen from the non-academic world (research institutes, medical centers, industry, environmental agencies, or radiation protection practitioners) to let the students get a proper point of view about the applications of the techniques learnt during the course. The choice of the lecturers can be tuned according to the interest that the students shows during the course.

Risultati di apprendimento attesi

The student:

a) Is aware of the statistic underlaying the nuclear measurements and can correctly manage nuclear counts.

b) knows the commonly expected sources of ionising radiation and the interaction of radiation in matter with a special attention to material used in radiation detection.

c) has a full overview of the different kind of detectors and is aware of pros and cons of different detectors.

d) Can select the correct instrument with respect to the specific measurement situation and can correctly manage nuclear counts.

e) can present the topics studied in the course with good property of language and scientific terminology.


Argomenti trattati

1) Statistical analysis and data handling. Bernoulli, Poisson and Gauss distributions. Meaning of the interval of confidence. Chi^2 rest and its application to nuclear measurements. t.Student test. Time distribution of Poisson events. Type A and B evaluation of experimental uncertainties. Central limit theorem. Model of measurement and uncertainty propagation. Characteristic limits, probability of false positive and false negative. Currie equation.

2) Radiation interaction with matter. Interaction of hadrons, derivation of the Bethe equation, stopping power and LET. Interaction of electrons and positron with matter, electronic interaction and bremsstrahlung, Cerenkov effect, annihilation of positron. Interaction of electromagnetic radiation, photoelectric effect, Compton scattering, pair production and photoneutron generation. The topic is taught with special attention to the difference between energy deposition in the active volume of nuclear detectors and energy of the ionizing particle.

3) Radiation sources. Alpha beta and gamma sources, x ray sources, cosmic radiation and neutron sources.

4) General principle of radiation detection: operating modes of a nuclear detector, pulse mode, current mode and Campbelling mode. Energy resolution, FWHM, statistical resolution and Fano factor, detector efficiency. Dead time losses in paralyzable and non paralyzable detectors. General scheme of a counting chain.

5) Gas detectors. Charge mobility and I-V characteristic of an ion chamber operating in current mode under steady irradiation. Factors affecting the charge collection, columnar and volume recombination. Guard rings. Current ion chamber as devices measuring the exposure under electronic equilibrium conditions. Compensation for environmental conditions. Operational quantities and procedures of calibration I terms of these quantities. Ion chamber operated in pulse mode, generation of the signal and need of the Frisch grid. Energy resolution. Proportional counters, Townsends avalanche and statistic of the multiplication. Formation of the signal in proportional counters and ballistic deficit. Diethorn equation. Design and application. proportional counters with a special design, GEM, micromegas and multiwires proportional counters. Geiger Muller counters, GM discharge and counting plateau. Filling gas, internal and external quenching.

6) Scintillation detectors: Organic scintillators, physical scintillation mechanism, binary and tertiary scintillators. Liquid and plastic scintillator. Scintillation efficiency, light output and Birks equation. Time response. Inorganic scintillators. Scintillators mounting and light collection. Gas and glass scintillation. Photomultipliers and Silicon photomultipliers (SIPM) description and comparison of the two techniques. Hybrid photon detectors. Photon spectrometry with inorganic scintillators.

7) Handling of logic and digital signal: Description of different nuclear modules. Charge preamplifier and long tail pulses, shaping and amplification of the signal. Series and parallel noise sources. Single channel and multichannel analysers. Time pick-off and time to amplitude converters, time spectrometry. Resolution of the time spectrometry, time jitter and time amplitude walk. Bipolar shaping for time spectrometry

8) Semiconductor detectors: bandgap and intrinsic carrier density. Charge diffusion and mobility. Semiconductor doping a nd junction. Electric characteristic of the depletion zone. Reverse polarization and fully depleted detectors. Surface barrier detectors. Reverse current as sum of leakage, thermally stimulated and minority carriers current. Pulse rise time. Application of silicon detectors: charged particle spectrometry, telescope detector, personal dosimeter. Direct Ion Storage detectors. HPGE detectors, planar and coaxial geometry. Energy resolution, statistic, noise and incomplete charge collection. Effect of trapping and detrapping. Comparison HPGE and Inorganic (NaI(Tl)). Techniques for Compton reduction. Energy and efficiency calibration. Lithium drifted silicon detectors for soft x ray spectrometry. Semiconductors other than Si and Ge. Silicon drift detectors. Timepix technology coupled with semiconductor detectors.

9) Neutron Detections. Neutron sources. Interactions of neutrons in matter, cross section. Elastic and inelastic scattering and adsorption cross section. Energy distribution of recoil nucleus in elastic scattering. Most important nuclear reaction used for neutron detection. B-10 Li-6 and He-3 based detectors for thermal neutrons. Detectors based on neutron activation. Fission chamber. Detection of fast neutrons based on thermalizaton. Bonner sphere spectrometer and rem counter. Extended range BSS and rem counter. Unfolding. Detection of fast neutrons with organic scintillators. Capture gated detectors, Response of a He-3 proportional counter to fast neutrons. TOF

10) Nuclear reactor instrumentation. General characteristics of the instrumentation for the control of a nuclear reactor. BF3 proportional counters, compensated ion chamber, fission chambers operated in Campbelling mode, self powered detectors. Organization of the instrumentation for PWR and BWR.
 ' in -core ' and ' out-of -core ' detectors. Examples of organization of the detection system in a power plant.

11) Passive detectors: personal dosimeters (TLD, RPL, OSL and film badge) for gamma and neutron personal dosimetry exploiting albedo neutrons. Superheated drop detectors for neutron dosimetry and spectrometry. Track detectors for radon and fast neutron detection.

Other specific topics:

1) Radon measurements: During the first lesson of the course, some passive radon detectors based on PADC sensors are distributed to the students. The teachers spend about 1 h for a brief introduction to the radon issue and for a quick explanation of the measuring technique. The detectors will be collected at the end of the course.

2) External lecturers: At the end of the course at least three external lecturers are invited. The aim is to let the students have a feeling about the world of nuclear measurements. Thus the lecturers are chosen among nuclear measurements practitioners form: Research institutions, medical centers, environmental agencies of private companies.

3) Laboratories sessions: The course includes seven lab sessions, 4 hours each, focusing on the following topics

Lab1: Plateau of a GM counter, measurement of the dead time, measurement of the decay constants of a mixture of two radionuclides. Teaching modules involved: 1), 5)

Lab2: Measurement of the attenuation of beta particles in matter. Backscattering of beta particles. Self absorption of beta particles. Teaching modules involved: 1), 2),3), 5)

Lab3: Exercises on statistical analysis of nuclear data. Teaching modules involved: 1)

Lab4: Ion chamber operated in pulse mode, current mode and Campbelling mode. Teaching modules involved: 1), 2,) 3), 4), 5), 10)

Lab5: Organic and inorganic scintillators, photon spectrometry, radionuclide identification. Teaching modules involved:  2,) 3), 4), 6), 7)

Lab6: He-3 and BF3 proportional counters, activation detectors. Teaching modules involved:  2,) 3), 5), 7), 9), 10)

Lab7 Visit to the laboratory of radiation metrology, analysis of radon detectors distributed at the beginning of the course, use of a hpge. Teaching modules involved:  1,) 3), 5), 8), 11)


The labs 1,2,4,5,6 (20 hours) are delivered in Blended Learning & Flipped Classroom as follows

1) The text of the labs is given to the students before the labs, but after most of the teaching modules involved have been explained in class.

2) Students attend the lab (groups of 4 – 5 people each) and take the experimental data under the supervision of the teacher and his coworkers.

3) Students process the experimental data at home and the lecture following the lab is devoted to a discussion about the data analysis.



The education level required for the admission to the Master of Science in Nuclear Engineering is enough for a complete comprehension of the topics taught in the course.

Modalità di valutazione

The student is asked to sit an oral exam.

The first question is chosen by the student about one measuring technique. This question is used to verify the points a), b) and e) of the expected learning.

The student is asked to present at the exam a short report about one of the experiments carried out during the lab, together with an excel sheet of data analysis. This part of the exam is used to double check the points a) and part of the topic d) of the expected learning and the applying knowledge and understanding.

In the last part of the exam the examiner presents a measurement problem and the student is asked to describe a possible solution. This part of the exam is used to check the point c), to fully check the point d) and to double check the point b) of the expected learning and to check the knowledge and understanding of the topics dealt by the external lecturers.

Risorsa bibliografica obbligatoriaGlenn F. Knoll, Radiaqtion detection and Measurements, Editore: Wiley, Anno edizione: 2010, ISBN: 978-0-470-13148-0

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Forme didattiche
Tipo Forma Didattica Ore di attività svolte in aula
Ore di studio autonome
Laboratorio Informatico
Laboratorio Sperimentale
Laboratorio Di Progetto
Totale 100:00 150:00

Informazioni in lingua inglese a supporto dell'internazionalizzazione
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schedaincarico v. 1.6.8 / 1.6.8
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