Five types of bubble detectors (T-15, T-34, T-12, T-24 and T-14) of large volume and different sensitivities were developed in the China Institute of Atomic Energy for the purpose of heavy ion research. Calibrations were carried out with beams of high-energy protons, He, C, Si, Ar, Fe, Kr and Xe, at accelerators in the energy region 150-650 MeV/u. The bubble detectors were demonstrated to be a family of detectors for recording tracks of high-energy heavy ions with atomic numbers from Z=1 (proton) to all the numbers in the whole periodic table of elements. The threshold levels of the detectors differ from each other with values 0.05 ± 0.01 (T-15), 1.62 ± 0.05 (T-34), 1.68 ± 0.03 (T-12), 2.24 ± 0.06 (T-24) and 6.04 ± 0.80 (T-14) MeVmg-1cm2, respectively, which are about the same or even lower than the levels of plastic track detectors for recording heavy ions. The distinguishing features of bubble detectors are high sensitivity, active recording, real-time display, volume registration and background discriminating capacities. Bubble detectors are a new type of high sensitivity detectors and are very promising for detection of heavy ions, neutrons and exotic particles. © 2003 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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