MEGHNAD — A multi element detector array for heavy ion collision studies
In the coming decade, the expanding field of experimental nuclear physics in our country is going to see a quantum leap in research and developmental activities with new accelerator facilities like the variable energy cyclotron with ECR heavy ion source, the upcoming K-500 superconducting cyclotron, both at VECC, Calcutta, and the superconducting linac boosters at both the Pelletron Accelerator Facilities at TIFR, Mumbai and NSC, New Delhi. When heavy ion beam available from such machines fall on a target and undergo collision, very rich and often pristine fields of research open up. In order to carry on such activities, we have taken up a project to build a multi element gamma, heavy ion and neutron array of detectors (MEGHNAD) to detect and study the properties of a wide variety of particles like neutrons, protons, light mass clusters, massive ejected fragments, and gamma rays with good solid angle coverage and efficiency. Design of the detector array, performance of the prototype detector and brief outline of the research programme to be undertaken with the detector array will be discussed.