3 Added formula for radius of curvature per comment by anna v. edited Jun 24 '11 at 3:03 Carl Brannen 10.2k55 gold badges3232 silver badges6969 bronze badges Different pieces of equipment will produce somewhat different looking data, but typically it consists of voltages defined as a function of time. In some cases (spark chambers, for example) the "voltage" is digital, and in others it is analog. Traditionally, the time series for the data is slower than the times required for the (almost light speed) particles to traverse the detector. Thus one had an effective photograph for a single experiment. More modern equipment is faster but they still display the data that way. Here's an LHC example: In the above, the data has been organized for display according to the shape and geometry of the detector. The raw data itself would be digitized and just a collection of zeroes and ones. There are typically two types of measurements, "position" and "energy". The position measurements are typically binary, that is, they indicate that a particle either came through that (very small) element or did not. In the above, the yellow lines are position measurements. Note that some of the yellow lines are curved. Actually all of them are curved at least some. This is because there is a strong magnetic field. The curvature of the particle tracks helps determine what particles they are. For example, given the same speed and charge, a heavier particle will run straighter. The radius of curvature is given by: $$r = \frac{m\gamma E}{pB}$$ where $$\gamma = 1/\sqrt{1-(v/c)^2}$$ is the Lorentz factor, $$E$$ is the energy, and $$p$$ is the momentum. This helps determine the particle type and energy. Energy measurements are generally analog. In them, one gets an indication of how much energy was deposited by the particle as it went by. In the above, the light blue and red data are energy measurements. For these measurements, one doesn't get such a precise position, but the amplitude is very accurate. Different pieces of equipment will produce somewhat different looking data, but typically it consists of voltages defined as a function of time. In some cases (spark chambers, for example) the "voltage" is digital, and in others it is analog. Traditionally, the time series for the data is slower than the times required for the (almost light speed) particles to traverse the detector. Thus one had an effective photograph for a single experiment. More modern equipment is faster but they still display the data that way. Here's an LHC example: In the above, the data has been organized for display according to the shape and geometry of the detector. The raw data itself would be digitized and just a collection of zeroes and ones. There are typically two types of measurements, "position" and "energy". The position measurements are typically binary, that is, they indicate that a particle either came through that (very small) element or did not. In the above, the yellow lines are position measurements. Note that some of the yellow lines are curved. Actually all of them are curved at least some. This is because there is a strong magnetic field. The curvature of the particle tracks helps determine what particles they are. For example, given the same speed and charge, a heavier particle will run straighter. Energy measurements are generally analog. In them, one gets an indication of how much energy was deposited by the particle as it went by. In the above, the light blue and red data are energy measurements. For these measurements, one doesn't get such a precise position, but the amplitude is very accurate. Different pieces of equipment will produce somewhat different looking data, but typically it consists of voltages defined as a function of time. In some cases (spark chambers, for example) the "voltage" is digital, and in others it is analog. Traditionally, the time series for the data is slower than the times required for the (almost light speed) particles to traverse the detector. Thus one had an effective photograph for a single experiment. More modern equipment is faster but they still display the data that way. Here's an LHC example: In the above, the data has been organized for display according to the shape and geometry of the detector. The raw data itself would be digitized and just a collection of zeroes and ones. There are typically two types of measurements, "position" and "energy". The position measurements are typically binary, that is, they indicate that a particle either came through that (very small) element or did not. In the above, the yellow lines are position measurements. Note that some of the yellow lines are curved. Actually all of them are curved at least some. This is because there is a strong magnetic field. The curvature of the particle tracks helps determine what particles they are. For example, given the same speed and charge, a heavier particle will run straighter. The radius of curvature is given by: $$r = \frac{m\gamma E}{pB}$$ where $$\gamma = 1/\sqrt{1-(v/c)^2}$$ is the Lorentz factor, $$E$$ is the energy, and $$p$$ is the momentum. This helps determine the particle type and energy. Energy measurements are generally analog. In them, one gets an indication of how much energy was deposited by the particle as it went by. In the above, the light blue and red data are energy measurements. For these measurements, one doesn't get such a precise position, but the amplitude is very accurate. 2 Correction per dmckee edited Jun 23 '11 at 5:18 Carl Brannen 10.2k55 gold badges3232 silver badges6969 bronze badges Different pieces of equipment will produce somewhat different looking data, but typically it consists of voltages defined as a function of time. In some cases (spark chambers, for example) the "voltage" is digital, and in others it is analog. TypicallyTraditionally, the time series for the data is slower than the times required for the (almost light speed) particles to traverse the detector. Thus one getshad an effective photograph for a single photograph of the experiment. More modern equipment is faster but they still display the data that way. Here's an LHC example: In the above, the data has been organized for display according to the shape and geometry of the detector. The raw data itself would be digitized and just a collection of zeroes and ones. There are typically two types of measurements, "position" and "energy". The position measurements are typically binary, that is, they indicate that a particle either came through that (very small) element or did not. In the above, the yellow lines are position measurements. Note that some of the yellow lines are curved. Actually all of them are curved at least some. This is because there is a strong magnetic field. The curvature of the particle tracks helps determine what particles they are. For example, given the same speed and charge, a heavier particle will run straighter. Energy measurements are generally analog. In them, one gets an indication of how much energy was deposited by the particle as it went by. In the above, the light blue and red data are energy measurements. For these measurements, one doesn't get such a precise position, but the amplitude is very accurate. Different pieces of equipment will produce somewhat different looking data, but typically it consists of voltages defined as a function of time. In some cases (spark chambers, for example) the "voltage" is digital, and in others it is analog. Typically the time series for the data is slower than the times required for the (almost light speed) particles to traverse the detector. Thus one gets a single photograph of the experiment. Here's an LHC example: In the above, the data has been organized for display according to the shape and geometry of the detector. The raw data itself would be digitized and just a collection of zeroes and ones. There are typically two types of measurements, "position" and "energy". The position measurements are typically binary, that is, they indicate that a particle either came through that (very small) element or did not. In the above, the yellow lines are position measurements. Note that some of the yellow lines are curved. Actually all of them are curved at least some. This is because there is a strong magnetic field. The curvature of the particle tracks helps determine what particles they are. For example, given the same speed and charge, a heavier particle will run straighter. Energy measurements are generally analog. In them, one gets an indication of how much energy was deposited by the particle as it went by. In the above, the light blue and red data are energy measurements. For these measurements, one doesn't get such a precise position, but the amplitude is very accurate. Different pieces of equipment will produce somewhat different looking data, but typically it consists of voltages defined as a function of time. In some cases (spark chambers, for example) the "voltage" is digital, and in others it is analog. Traditionally, the time series for the data is slower than the times required for the (almost light speed) particles to traverse the detector. Thus one had an effective photograph for a single experiment. More modern equipment is faster but they still display the data that way. Here's an LHC example: In the above, the data has been organized for display according to the shape and geometry of the detector. The raw data itself would be digitized and just a collection of zeroes and ones. There are typically two types of measurements, "position" and "energy". The position measurements are typically binary, that is, they indicate that a particle either came through that (very small) element or did not. In the above, the yellow lines are position measurements. Note that some of the yellow lines are curved. Actually all of them are curved at least some. This is because there is a strong magnetic field. The curvature of the particle tracks helps determine what particles they are. For example, given the same speed and charge, a heavier particle will run straighter. Energy measurements are generally analog. In them, one gets an indication of how much energy was deposited by the particle as it went by. In the above, the light blue and red data are energy measurements. For these measurements, one doesn't get such a precise position, but the amplitude is very accurate. 1 answered Jun 22 '11 at 20:48 Carl Brannen 10.2k55 gold badges3232 silver badges6969 bronze badges Different pieces of equipment will produce somewhat different looking data, but typically it consists of voltages defined as a function of time. In some cases (spark chambers, for example) the "voltage" is digital, and in others it is analog. Typically the time series for the data is slower than the times required for the (almost light speed) particles to traverse the detector. Thus one gets a single photograph of the experiment. Here's an LHC example: In the above, the data has been organized for display according to the shape and geometry of the detector. The raw data itself would be digitized and just a collection of zeroes and ones. There are typically two types of measurements, "position" and "energy". The position measurements are typically binary, that is, they indicate that a particle either came through that (very small) element or did not. In the above, the yellow lines are position measurements. Note that some of the yellow lines are curved. Actually all of them are curved at least some. This is because there is a strong magnetic field. The curvature of the particle tracks helps determine what particles they are. For example, given the same speed and charge, a heavier particle will run straighter. Energy measurements are generally analog. In them, one gets an indication of how much energy was deposited by the particle as it went by. In the above, the light blue and red data are energy measurements. For these measurements, one doesn't get such a precise position, but the amplitude is very accurate.