Performance and commissioning of the BigBite Timing Hodoscope for nucleon form factor measurements at Jefferson Lab

Marinaro III, Ralph Michael (2024) Performance and commissioning of the BigBite Timing Hodoscope for nucleon form factor measurements at Jefferson Lab. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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The BigBite Timing Hodoscope detector is the primary subject of this thesis. The Super BigBite Spectrometer is a Jefferson Lab Hall A Collaboration project that has and will continue to measure nucleon electromagnetic form factors. This spectrometer includes the Timing Hodoscope which provides high resolution particle timing data for scattered electrons in the electron arm of BigBite. The Timing Hodoscope utilizes 90, 25 × 25 × 600 mm3 scintillator bars stacked on top of each other to form a single detector plane, and these bars are connected to 180 photo-multiplier tubes via light guides. Particles collide with the scintillating material creating a shower of optical photons and these particle events in the bars are collected to generate signals that are readout by the data acquisition (DAQ) electronics. NINO ASIC amplifier-discriminator cards output signals from the photo-multiplier tubes into analogue and logic signals, which are sent to analogue-to-digital (ADC) and time-to-digital (TDC) converter data acquisition readout modules. This data is then used for analysis of the detector.

The focus of this thesis is the construction, commissioning, calibration, and performance of the BigBite Timing Hodoscope before and during the first of five nucleon electromagnetic form factor experiments at Jefferson Lab Hall A. Before the neutron magnetic form factor, G n M, experiment, cosmic ray data was collected during commissioning to confirm proper operation of the Timing Hodoscope electronics by observing the ADC and TDC data. Commissioning studies for charge normalization, gain matching, and other ADC and TDC detector data variables were performed before moving the detector into Hall A. Following installation in Hall A, several calibration studies were implemented to fine-tune the detector in preparation for use in the experiment. The calibration studies included analysis of timing cuts, TDC alignment, the time-walk effect, time difference offsets, and scintillator velocity corrections. Once the Timing Hodoscope was well-calibrated, data-taking during the experiment commenced and the beamon-target data was used to characterize the Timing Hodoscope performance during the G n M experiment run-time. The performance analysis included studies observing energy deposit, cluster size, rates, accidentals, pile-up, tracking efficiency, position resolution, and time resolution. After application of physics cuts to ensure a data set comprised of particle tracks corresponding to elastic electrons, which is the main data of interest for measurement of G n M, the Timing Hodoscope is shown on average across all kinematic settings to have a >98% tracking efficiency, a position resolution of 4-6 cm in the non-dispersive plane and 1.5-2 cm in the dispersive plane, and a time resolution of 500-750 ps. These performance results are compared to a GEANT4 based performance simulation of the BigBite Timing Hodoscope for reference, showing to what degree the measured performance values match those taken from the simulation.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Additional Information: Supported by funding from the University of Glasgow Science and Engineering College Scholarship award.
Subjects: Q Science > QC Physics
Colleges/Schools: College of Science and Engineering > School of Physics and Astronomy
Supervisor's Name: Hamilton, Dr. David J. and Montgomery, Dr. Rachel A.
Date of Award: 2024
Depositing User: Theses Team
Unique ID: glathesis:2024-84182
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 02 Apr 2024 14:16
Last Modified: 02 Apr 2024 14:19
Thesis DOI: 10.5525/gla.thesis.84182

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