Date of Defense


Date of Graduation




First Advisor

Zbigniew Chajecki

Second Advisor

Michael Famiano


The Proton Veto Wall (VW) is a charged particle detector designed and built at Western Michigan University for use at the National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory at Michigan State University. The VW assists the Large Area Neutron Array (LANA) with discriminating between charged particles detected via proton recoil in the scintillating material and charged particles detected from heavy ion collisions produced in the laboratory. Twenty five Eljen-200 plastic organic scintillators are arranged in a vertical position with photomultiplier tubes (PMTs) mounted to either end. The detector sits directly in front of LANA on a large stand that was assembled using T-slotted frames. Whenever a charged particle interacts with the scintillating material, photons are produced in a process known as fluorescence. Their energy is directly proportional to the energy deposited by the charged particle. Photomultiplier tubes gather these photons and external laboratory electronics process the signals produced in the PMTs. To understand how these signals relate back to the energy of the charged particle, the VW was calibrated using gamma sources. Two types of calibrations took place: energy calibrations and time calibrations. Time calibrations allow the position of the charged particle to be determined as a function of time. Once the charged particle location is known in the VW it is consequently known in the LANA and its signal is ignored by LANA. The VW successfully vetoes over billions of charged particle signatures from the LANA while keeping track of the energy of charged particles as they pass through the VW.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Open Access

JustinSwaim2018ThesisPPT.pdf (2189 kB)
Defense Presentation

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Physics Commons