Nuclear Physics – Scattering Chamber


The large scattering chamber at iThemba LABS is positioned in the A-line and is used in reaction mechanism studies with both light and heavy ions. Since it is equipped inside with two independently movable arms to which detectors can be attached, this apparatus is extremely useful in measuring angular distributions of charged particles emitted in different nuclear reactions.


A view of the inside of the scattering chamber, showing the two detector arms instrumented with Si surface barrier transmission detectors and NaI (T1) scintillation detectors

Postgraduate student Justin Mabiala standing next to the A-line scattering chamber



Vacuum tank
1.5 m diameter, 0.75 m height
Detector arms
Two independent arms Step-motor drive
Shaft encoder readout accuracy +- 0.10 degrees
Target system
Five solid targets on ladder or a gas cell plus three solid targets
Accuracy of vertical target position ± 0.25 mm
Angular accuracy ± 0.10°
Vacuum interlock for insertion of chemically active targets under vacuum.
Operating vacuum
~5×10-6 mbar achieved in service
Detectors used thus far
Silicon surface barrier detectors
NaI detectors
Plastic scintillators
Bragg Curve Detector
Resonant Particle Spectrometer consisting of a
double-sided silicon strip detector combined with a NaI detector

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