Gammasphere

Gammasphere

 

Gammasphere is one of the world’s most powerful instruments for studying artificial heavy atoms. It is made using 110 detectors, each about the size of a coffee cup and made from the metal germanium, in a spherical arrangement around a target area. Beams of ions (atomic nuclei stripped of their electrons) from a particle accelerator are aimed at a thin metal film target. Ions from the beam fuse with atomic nuclei in the target, producing highly excited, much heavier elements. Gammasphere detects gamma rays emitted from the excited nuclei as they spin and cool. Constructed at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, California, in 1995-97, Gammasphere has also been used by the Argonne National Laboratory near Chicago.

Image © Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory


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