Polyhedral Designs of Detection Systems for Nuclear Physics Studies

N.G. Nicolis
Meeting Alhambra, ISAMA-BRIDGES Conference Proceedings (2003)
Pages 219–228


Polyhedral symmetries play an important role in mathematics, physics, chemistry, art and architecture. Despite the rich bibliography on this subject, little is known, to the non-expert, on the use of symmetric constructions in specialized scientific applications. We present a short review showing the influence of the geometry of polyhedra in the design of multi-detector systems employed in nuclear physics studies. In detection systems with a small number of detectors, designs based on Platonic and Archimedean solids have been used. On the other hand, in order to accommodate a large number of detector modules, highly segmented shell-like structures have been created. These constructions are based on a geodesic breakdown of an icosahedron and resemble architectural dome structures.