The generation of transition radiation by relativistic particles in plastic foam radiators

Thomas A. Prince, The Enrico Fermi Institute
Dietrich Müller, The Enrico Fermi Institute
Gernot Hartmann, The Enrico Fermi Institute
Michael L. Cherry, The Enrico Fermi Institute


The design of large area transition radiation detectors for highly relativistic particles can be greatly simplified if plastic foam radiators are employed. Using electron beams with energies 1-9 GeV at the Cornell synchrotron, we have studied the properties of a large variety of transition radiators consisting of commercially available foam materials. In most cases, a measurable transition radiation signal has been observed, but only a few materials have been found to be suitable for practical purposes. The observed radiation yield is in these cases very similar to that of equivalent multifoil radiators. A detailed discussion is given of the particle detection efficiency that can be obtained with high yield foam radiators. © 1975.