The first experimental campaign with the AGATA gamma-tracking spectrometer will begin shortly at the National Laboratories of Legnaro (LNL). The campaign, carried out by the GAMMA group in a broad international collaboration involving the main European countries, will use intense beams of stable ions supplied by the Tandem-ALPI-PIAVE accelerator complex. AGATA is the most sophisticated instrument in the world in the field of gamma ray detection. Based on segmented crystals of hyperpure germanium, it is an innovative modular detection apparatus made up, once completed, of 60 triple clusters. The instrument allows, starting from the analysis of the shape of the electrical signals provided by the crystals, to track a single gamma ray inside the crystal with a spatial resolution of the order of a few millimeters.
AGATA will allow us to explore, with unparalleled efficiency and sensitivity, the structure of exotic nuclei produced in collisions between heavy ions. In a first phase of experimentation at the LNL, AGATA will be used to carry out measurements together with the PRISMA high acceptance magnetic mass spectrometer, in addition to complementary instruments employed for the detection of charged particles, neutrons and high-energy gamma rays or for the measurement of average lifetimes of excited nuclear states. The first three triple AGATA clusters have been successfully installed, together with the support system for their operation and the electronics for signal processing. It is planned to install up to thirteen triple clusters in the initial phase of the experimental campaign, covering about a quarter of the solid angle. During the rest of the number of detectors will be increased to reach half of the solid angle.
The GAMMA group of Milan, with the invaluable help of the design office, the mechanical workshop and the electronics group, is responsible for various parts of the installation, such as the reaction chambers and relative support structure, for the development of simulations and softwares needed to analyze the data that will be produced by AGATA, as well as for the commissioning of the setup that should start on April 2022.