Thursday, June 25, 2009

Analog Converters Used In Large Hadron Collider

Analog Devices' data converters are helping scientists discover what the universe is made of and how it works by playing an important role in Cern's Large Hadron Collider (LHC). Hans Rykaczewski, resource manager at Cern, said: 'The converters we use need to be radiation-hard and reliable because they must function properly for decades in a high-radiation environment.

'The collisions created by the LHC emit energy that can be measured and analysed once it is converted to a digital data stream. 'Analog Devices' converters have the speed and dynamic range we need to measure the energy captured by one of the 64,000-lead tungstate crystals. 'These crystals measure the energy of photons, electrons and positrons.' Within the LHC, two beams of subatomic particles called 'hadrons' - either protons or lead ions - will travel in opposite directions inside the circular accelerator, gaining energy with every lap. Physicists will use the LHC to collide the two beams head-on at very high energy.

Teams of physicists from around the world will analyse the particles created in the collisions using special detectors. Cern selected Analog Devices' AD9042 high-speed, low-power, 12-bit ADC (analogue-to-digital converter) for use in its detectors. Data converters are the key components that translate real-world phenomena, such as light, sound, temperature, motion and pressure into electrical signals used in an array of electronic equipment.

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