How Pixel Detector ASICs Helped Find the Higgs Boson at CERN and Now Enable Spectroscopic X-ray Medical Imaging


On July 4, 2012, the ATLAS and CMS experiments at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider (LHC) announced the discovery of the long sought-after Higgs boson. This was the culmination of a huge scientific endeavor involving theorists, detector, and machine physics and an army of engineers and technicians. ASICs played a significant role in the design and construction of the experiments and were one of the key enabling technologies permitting efficient particle detection in an extremely hostile environment. The presentation will start with a lay-person’s description of a large high-energy physics experiment and review some of the challenges presented for ASIC designers by the LHC environment. The talk will then focus on inner tracking detectors based on hybrid pixels. Such detectors provide the possibility of unambiguous (noise hit free) particle detection, an essential feature for disentangling complicated particle collisions taking place 40 million times per second. The same technology has been adapted for applications beyond high-energy physics in various generations of the Medipix and Timepix chips. That work has led to numerous novel applications stretching from particle detection in classrooms to recent ground-breaking results in spectroscopic medical X-ray imaging. Particle detection in real time will be demonstrated and a number of related applications described.

  Date and Time




  • Qualcomm AZ-Auditorium (10155 Pacific Heights Blvd, San Diego, CA 92121)
  • san diego, California
  • United States
  • Starts 26 November 2018 08:52 AM
  • Ends 06 December 2018 07:52 AM
  • All times are US/Pacific
  • No Admission Charge
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Michael Campbell Head of the Microelectronics Section, CERN (Geneva, Switzerland)


How Pixel Detector ASICs Helped Find the Higgs Boson at CERN and Now Enable Spectroscopic X-ray Medical Imaging


Michael Campbell is Head of the Microelectronics Section in the Experimental Physics Department at CERN in Geneva, Switzerland where he has worked for over 30 years. He was one of the pioneers of pixel detector readout and of the use of radiation-hard-by-design techniques both of which are now exploited widely in ASICs at the Large Hadron Collider experiments. He is spokesperson of the Medipix2, Medipix3 and Medipix4 Collaborations who seek to disseminate pixel detector technology to many different fields. Michael received his PhD from the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, Scotland (his native city) and has authored several hundred scientific publications. In 2016, he was appointed Honorary Professor of the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Glasgow.


9:00 - 9:10am  Sign-in and networking

9:10 - 10:30am  Seminar and Q&A