Proportional counter built from a beverage can

The course is a combined lecturing and laboratory course. This course is held once every year in autumn term. The course is part of the Particle Physics and Astrophysical Science Master’s program. It is included in the study line of particle physics and cosmology. Within this study line the course is part of the optional course package "Instrumentation of particle physics."

In case of a successful learning outcome students will receive 5 ECTS and marks based on the assessment methods described later in this plan.

Target group:
Aimed for Master's level students of Particle Physics and Astrophysical Science Master’s program, who want to specialise in high energy physics instrumentation. It is possible for students outside this master program (e.g. master program of material science) or from other disciplines to attend.

Prior knowledge:
Students should have basic background knowledge in electronics. Knowledge in particle physics is considered to be helpful.

Limited participation:
The course is limited to maximal 8 students. The reasons are limited space and equipment for the extensive laboratory exercises. The COVID-19 pandemic is another reason for the participation limit. Strict safety rules and flexible scheduling are a must!

Content of course
- Laboratory safety and radiation safety.
- Detector readout electronics.
- Radioactive radiation and interaction of radiation with matter.
- Gaseous radiation detectors.
- Data analysis and statistics.
- Hardware integration.

Course material:
- Lecture notes.
- Glenn. F. Knoll: Radiation Detection and Measurement, Fourth Edition, Wiley.
- Home exercises.
- Laboratory exercises.

Main interaction tool used is Moodle. See link below!

12.8.2019 at 09:00 - 10.12.2019 at 23:59


This course uses Moodle as main portal to receive information and interact with teachers and students.


Here is the course’s teaching schedule. Check the description for possible other schedules.

Mon 2.9.2019
10:15 - 12:00
Tue 3.9.2019
10:15 - 12:00
Mon 9.9.2019
10:15 - 12:00
Tue 10.9.2019
10:15 - 12:00
Mon 16.9.2019
10:15 - 12:00
Tue 17.9.2019
10:15 - 12:00
Mon 23.9.2019
10:15 - 12:00
Tue 24.9.2019
10:15 - 12:00
Mon 30.9.2019
10:15 - 12:00
Tue 1.10.2019
10:15 - 12:00
Mon 7.10.2019
10:15 - 12:00
Tue 8.10.2019
10:15 - 12:00
Mon 14.10.2019
10:15 - 12:00
Tue 15.10.2019
10:15 - 12:00
Mon 28.10.2019
10:15 - 12:00
Tue 29.10.2019
10:15 - 12:00
Mon 4.11.2019
10:15 - 12:00
Tue 5.11.2019
10:15 - 12:00
Mon 11.11.2019
10:15 - 12:00
Tue 12.11.2019
10:15 - 12:00
Mon 18.11.2019
10:15 - 12:00
Tue 19.11.2019
10:15 - 12:00
Mon 25.11.2019
10:15 - 12:00
Tue 26.11.2019
10:15 - 12:00
Mon 2.12.2019
10:15 - 12:00
Tue 3.12.2019
10:15 - 12:00
Mon 9.12.2019
10:15 - 12:00
Tue 10.12.2019
10:15 - 12:00


Master’s Programme in Particle Physics and Astrophysical Sciences is responsible for the course.

Module where the course belongs to:

  • PAP300 Advanced Studies in Particle Physics and Astrophysical Sciences
    Optional for:
    1. Study Track in Particle Physics and Cosmology

The course is available to students from other degree programmes.

Basic undergraduate laboratory experience.

Other courses in the course package of Instrumentation of Particle Physics.

After the laboratory course the student will be able to:

  1. work in a scientific laboratory environment taking into account strict safety rules such as caution for high-voltages, gases, chemicals, delicate instruments, and radiation safety,
  2. know the physics of radiation detectors (introductory level),
  3. construct a gas-filled radiation detector starting from simple everyday materials such as aluminum beverage can and nuts and bolts,
  4. operate radiation detectors and data acquisition systems using typical laboratory equipment, such as source-meter-unit, radiation sources, gas piping, preamplifier, linear amplifier, multi-channel analyzer, and oscilloscope,
  5. write scientifically high quality laboratory reports.

Recommended time of studies for completion: any time during the master's or doctoral studies.

Offered in the autumn term every year.
Two period course (I-II periods).

Laboratory exercises will provide the students with hands-on & minds-on training about working in laboratory environment and about radiation detector technologies. The work will include gas detectors and detector read-out systems.

Glenn. F. Knoll: Radiation Detection and Measurement, Fourth Edition, Wiley, 2010.

Lectures given by teachers, guided laboratory work, writing laboratory report, group work.

The course venue is Helsinki Detector Laboratory.

  1. On-line assessment: Students’ achievement and progress will be observed during the laboratory work. Teachers will observe the students' procedural and problem solving skills, ability to use hands, engagement in the given exercise, cooperation within the group, respect to laboratory rules, and communication skills.
  2. Off-line assessment: Each group will write report about the tasks, explaining theory, methodology, analysis and results.

Lectures and laboratory sessions in Helsinki Detector Laboratory

  • Participation in laboratory work sessions 2h / week (80% required),
  • Operational radiation detector,
  • Operational data acquisition system,
  • Accepted work report.