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In particle physics, a calorimeter is an experimental apparatus that measures the energy of particles. Most particles enter the calorimeter and initiate a particle shower and the particles' energy is deposited in the calorimeter, collected, and measured. The energy may be measured in its entirety, requiring total containment of the particle shower, or it may be sampled. Typically, calorimeters are segmented transversely to provide information about the direction of the particle or particles, as well as the energy deposited, and longitudinal segmentation can provide information about the identity of the particle based on the shape of the shower as it develops. Calorimetry design is an active area of research in particle physics.

Types of calorimeter

An electromagnetic calorimeter is one specifically designed to measure the energy of particles that interact primarily via the electromagnetic interaction, while a hadronic calorimeter is one designed to measure particles that interact via the strong nuclear force. (See types of particle showers for the differences between the two.)

Either of the above types can be made as a sampling calorimeter, in which the material that produces the particle shower is distinct from the material that measures the deposited energy. Typically the two materials alternate. One advantage of this is that each material can be well-suited to its task; for example, a very dense material can be used to produce a shower that evolves quickly in a limited space, even if the material is unsuitable for measuring the energy deposited by the shower. A disadvantage is that some of the energy is deposited in the wrong material and is not measured; thus the total shower energy must be estimated.

Some Experiments Using Calorimeters

* ATLAS Experiment

* LHCb Experiment

* BaBar

* Belle

* Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS)

Physics Encyclopedia

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