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News & Highlights

Recent News and Highlights from the ACTAR TPC Project:

  • December 12 - 14, 2016: ICC LISE Workshop

The ACTAR TPC collaboration will be present in full force at the upcoming LISE workshop in Caen, France.  Invited talks by J.Giovinazzo, G.F.Grinyer, B.Mauss and A.Laffoley will present the timeline and planning for first experiments with ACTAR TPC at LISE.  Stay tuned for more details!

  • November 13 - 18, 2016: INTDS 2016 in Capetown South Africa

A new presentation by A.Laffoley on ACTAR TPC at the INTDS2016 conference in Capetown South Africa.

  • October 18 - 21, 2016: Eurisol DF 2016 Conference in Leuven

Invited presentation by T.Roger on active targets for nuclear phsyics experiments at Eurisol DF 2016 in Leuven, Belgium.

  • August 28 - September 3, 2016: Euroschool in Mainz

A new poster on cluster states in 10B was presented by B.Mauss at the Euroschool on Exotic Beams in Mainz, Germany.

  • August 4, 2016: In-beam test with the ACTAR TPC demonstrator

A 1-day test using the ACTAR TPC demonstrator and a beam of 24Mg beam accelerated to 4.6 MeV/u was recently completed at GANIL.  This was the first time that the complete GET system, including its new trigger module MuTanT, was used in beam and the first time that the GET system was succesfully coupled to the GANIL data-acquisiton system.

  • March 21, 2016: ACTAR TPC Newsletter is now available!

The second installment of the ACTAR TPC collaboration newsletter is now available!  Learn more about the status of the project and read about the highlights of the second year of the project here.

actar tpc newsletter 2016

  • November 18 - 20, 2015: ACTAR TPC Collaboration Workshop

The annual meeting of the ACTAR TPC collaboration was held from November 18 to November 20, 2015 in Caen.  For more information and to download presentation files please visit the workshop website.

  • October 26, 2015: Welcome to Alex Laffoley!

The ACTAR TPC project welcomes our postdoctoral fellow, Alex Laffoley, who will be working on data analysis for the experimental data collected during the 2015 IPNO campaign and preparing for future experiments with ACTAR TPC in 2017.

  • October 12 - 15, 2015: Colloque GANIL 2015

Two new posters by J.Giovinazzo and the team at CENBG were presented on analysis of GET data samples and innovative pad plane technology at Colloque GANIL in Anglet, France.

  • October 12 - 15, 2015: MPGD 2015

A new poster on micromegas calibration was presented by B.Mauss at the MPGD 2015 conference in Trieste, Italy.

  • October 1, 2015: Welcome to Benoit Mauss!

The ACTAR TPC project welcomes our PhD student, Benoit Mauss, who will be working on data analysis for the experimental data collected during the 2015 IPNO campaign as well as detector calibration methods.

  • July 21, 2015: ACTAR TPC Demonstrator returns to GANIL

With both experiments at IPN Orsay now complete, the ACTAR TPC demonstrator has returned to GANIL.  Analysis of the data sets from IPNO are now underway and testing will resume with the demonstrator in the ACTAR TPC lab.  We wish to thank everyone who participated in the planning, preparation, and execution of these experiments.  This was a major milestone of the ACTAR TPC project and we are now looking forward to designing the full-size detection chambers.

  • June 17, 2015: ACTAR TPC Demonstrator experiment #1 at IPNO/BACCHUS

From June 8 to 12, 2015 the ACTAR TPC demonstrator performed its first ever experiment at the ALTO facility of IPN Orsay.  A beam of 12C at 80 MeV was delivered by the Tandem and sent into the TPC that was filled with a gas mixture containg 90% He and 10% iC4H10.  The 2048 channels of the TPC were combined with 268 channels of Si detectors that were placed on the walls of the TPC chamber.  All of these channels were processed and read using the GET electronics system.  An example of a scattering event with two recoiling particles tracked through the TPC is shown in the upper figure.

One of the goals of the measurement was to populate and observe the decay of the "Hoyle state" in 12C that is characterized by the direct emission of 3 alpha particles that can be tracked in the TPC.  A fourth particle (the atom of the gas that participates in the reaction) also recoils and is recorded at the same time.  As shown in the lower figure, the ACTAR TPC demonstrator has successfully reconstructed the trajectories of all 4 alpha particles simultaneously in 3D!

2 particles 3d4 particles 3d


  • April 23, 2015: ACTAR TPC Demonstrator installed at IPN Orsay

The ACTAR TPC demonstrator detector and its associated electronics and data acquisition system were shipped from GANIL to IPN Orsay and were installed at the focal plane of the BACCHUS spectrometer at IPNO.  The demonstrator will be used in two physics experiments in June 2015 whose goals are to examine nucleon clustering effects in very light nuclei.

actar tpc demonstrator at ipno

  • March 23, 2015: ACTAR TPC Newsletter is now available!

The first installment of the ACTAR TPC collaboration newsletter is now available online!  Learn more about the status of the project and read about the highlights and achievements made during first year of the project here.

actar tpc newsletter 2015

  • March 11, 2015: ACTAR TPC Demonstrator returns to GANIL

The ACTAR TPC demonstrator has returned to the GANIL after spending a few months in Rouen being modified to allow the installation of an array of double-sided Si strip and Si detectors to the side walls of the chamber.  This new configuration "Demonstrator v2.0" will be used for two experiments at IPN Orsay in June 2015.  Detector and electronics tests have now resumed in the ACTAR TPC lab.

  • January 28-30, 2015: ICC LISE workshop

The ICC LISE workshop was devoted to discussing possible physics experiments that could be performed over the next 5 years at the GANIL-LISE beam line and was attended by nearly 60 physicists.  For many of these experiments ACTAR TPC will be essential.  Presentations given by members of the ACTAR TPC collaboration are available on our publications page.

icc lise 2015

  • November 17, 2014: Welcome to Blandine Duclos!

The ACTAR TPC project welcomes our new software engineer, Blandine Duclos, who will be working on creating graphical user interfaces and command/control software for efficient electronics parameter modifications and logging.

  • October 20 - 22, 2014: BACCHUS beam line test at IPNO

In anticipation of the first set of experiments with the ACTAR TPC demonstrator that will take place at the tandem accelerator at IPN Orsay in early 2015, a 3-day test was performed at IPNO using a beam of 12C at the BACCHUS spectrometer.  The goal of the test was to determine the overall beam intensity and how precisely it can be tuned and monitored at the focal plane.  Magnetic field calibrations of the BACCHUS spectrometer were also performed.

IPNO Bacchus

  • October 13 - 17, 2014: Laser tests at GANIL

Calibrations of the 2048-channel ACTAR TPC demonstrator were performed using a Nd:YAG laser with a power of 170 mW @ 259 nm in collaboration with the GANIL laser group (GISELE).  A photograph of the demonstrator mounted on the scanning table and an image of a single ionization track created by the laser beam as it passed through the detector and was recorded on the pad plane is shown.

 Laser Installation 2014
Laser Track 2014

  • October 6 - 9, 2014: GANIL/SPIRAL2 week

The ACTAR TPC project "Physics in an Active Target" was presented at GANIL-SPIRAL2 week in Caen, France.

  • September 22 - 25, 2014: GET GM VI

A total of 7 GANIL researchers and engineers working on the ACTAR TPC project attended the 6th annual GET general meeting in St Avit de Vialard, France.  Presentations can be found on our publications page.

  • August, 2014: EURISOL report now available

A new report entitled "Active Targets and Time Projection Chambers for Experiments in Nuclear Physics" is now available.  This report will be included in the EURISOL Innovative Instrumentation topical meeting report.

  • July 21 - 25, 2014: NS2014

A new ACTAR TPC ERC project poster was presented  the nuclear structure 2014 (NS2014) conference in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

  • July 15 - 17, 2014: EURISOL Topical Meeting

A presentation entitled "Active Targets in Nuclear Physics" was presented at the 5th EURISOL topical meeting on Innovative Instrumentation in York, UK.


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