INSPYRE 2023 – Experiments

From Quarks to Black Holes: let’s get INSPYRED!


March  29 – 30, 2023


Experiences with ArduSiPM an all-in-one particle detector (V. Bocci, F. Iacoangeli, INFN-Roma 1)

The construction of a homemade particle detector is a complex task, given the difficulty in sourcing materials and their associated costs. Within the framework of institutional research at INFN, we have developed a compact and affordable scintillation detector based on the Arduino Due, which includes all the functionalities of a modern particle physics detector. ArduSiPM was used in research projects and numerous outreach activities. During the event, we will show how to assemble the sensor, use the acquisition and control programs, explain its functionalities, and teach how to use it in educational experiences to detect cosmic rays or environmental radiation measurements. Information on the detector can be found at


Build your spacetime – let’s discover Einstein’s gravity (A. Postiglione, INFN-LNF)

What is gravity? How do planets, stars and galaxies move in the Universe? What do Einstein describe with his Theory of Relativity? Let’s find it out together with this interactive activity that will allow us to build and use our own spacetime model! In this way we will discover that masses can deform spacetime, bend light, and create black holes and gravitational waves.


Introduction to simulation techniques for medical applications (A. Filippi, INFN-To)

Plan of the working group activity
The simulation of the interaction of particles and radiation with materials is fundamental for the design of particle physics experiments and the study of their expected performances, but it can also be exploited for more everyday life applications, for instance related to medicine.
In particular, in medical field it is important to resort to simulations to estimate the energy released in biological tissues following the treatment with particle beams or radiation, its effect and the possible damage.
To this perspective, simulations provide fundamental information to prepare radiotherapic plans with beams or radiopharmaceuticals, for radiodiagnostic and radioprotection purposes, and also for the design of shielding for radiospatial applications in extraterrestrial environments.
Complete simulation tools are based on very complicated software packages, of course beyond the scope of this class.
Nonetheless, in this working group the students will approach a user-friendly interface based on the GEANT4 simulation package that will allow them to learn how to setup a system with a particle beam of desired shape,energy and intensity, interacting on simplified (but realistic) phantoms of some body organs, as well as on simple solid shapes invented by themselves.
The output from the simulation at the microscopical level will be analyzed and discussed in term of the possibile reactions that the particles will undergo in the materials of the experimental setup.
The students will visualize the interaction of particles or radiation with the materials, that will disclose the fundamental mechanisms at the basis of the medical investigation techniques, in particular those based on X-rays and radioactive beams or sources.


Determination of nuclides through gamma spectrometry (R. Bedogni, A. Calamida, L. Russo, INFN-LNF)

The participants in the experience “Determination of nuclides through gamma spectrometry” will learn the basics of gamma spectrometry through Scintillation detectors. Particularly, they will learn about (1) physics of a scintillation detector (2) Analog electronics to transform the light pulses in the scintillator into measurable electrical pulses (3) Digital electronics to measure the electrical pulses and produce a pulse height distribution (4) Basics of nuclide identification though the gamma rays signature.


Nanotechnology for environmental monitoring (A. Gaiardo, P. Tosato, M. Valt, FBK)

The quality of the air we breathe is a central issue in contemporary society; its punctual and distributed monitoring becomes increasingly accessible thanks to low-cost sensors based on nanotechnologies.

The workshop will introduce nanotechnologies and chemical-physical characterization methods used in the realization of solid-state gas sensors based on nanostructured semiconductors and in hands-on hardware and software integration activity. Some of these devices are produced at the Bruno Kessler Foundation and others are commercially available, the integration will take place on a STMicroelectronics STM32-Nucleo platform through Arduino IDE environment.


Plasma – The fourth state of matter (A. Biagioni, C. Mariani, INFN-LNF)

What is a plasma, the state of matter that composes the 99% of the universe? How can it be investigated? Let’s find it out together with this interactive activity that will allow us to study it and detect it! In this way we will discover, with some basic physics principles, how spectroscopy works and how to measure the plasma.


Physics of photovoltaic devices (P. Bernardoni, Univ. of Ferrara)

The activity is organised in two parts, the first part is a theoretical introduction on the physics of semiconductors and how these materials can be used to manufacture optoelectronic devices such as photovoltaic cells, photodiodes and LEDs. In the second part the students will be instructed on how to acquire the characteristic I-V curve of a solar panel using simple instruments such as multimeters and an adjustable power supply. Analysing this curve they will determine the main operating parameters and the internal resistances of the panel. Shading one of the cells which compose the panel the students will understand the effect on the I-V curve and why a simple multimeter is not an effective instrument to test a solar cell.


Simulation of LHC events (G. Corcella, M. Testa, INFN-LNF)

The group will work on the simulation and reconstruction of events at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). After a theory introduction on the Standard Model of particle physics and Monte Carlo event generators, the participants will learn how to use modern tools, such as the MadGraph, PYTHIA, Root and Delphes codes, in order to simulate events at the LHC and reconstruct final-state particles. Particular attention will be paid to events with the production of Higgs bosons.


Cosmic rays: falling from the stars to the ground (G. Felici, C. Gatti, A. Paoloni, INFN-LNF)

Primary cosmic rays, produced by galatic and extra-galactic sources, are continuosly hitting the atmosphere.
At ground level, muons, the most penetrating component, can be detected at the rate of about 1 particle per second per square cm.
In the past cosmic rays were used to discover new particles before the use of particle accelerators.
Nowadays, muons are mainly used to test detectors performances.
The aim of the experience is to make students get acquainted with detector technologies like scintillators and silicon photomultipliers.
The study of the muon rate as a function of the angle can be exploited to infer its properties, such as the lifetime.


Event selection of Higgs boson with the ATLAS detector at LHC (C. Arcangeletti, G. Mancini, INFN-LNF)

The students will have the opportunity to perform an event selection of the Higgs boson. The selection will be implemented using an event display based analysis with data from the ATLAS experiment at LHC.

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