Latest results from the TORCH R&D Project

T. Gys*, Nick H Brook, L. Castillo García, D. Cussans, K. Föhl, R. Forty, C. Frei, R. Gao, N. Harnew, D. Piedigrossi, J. Rademacker, A. Ros García, M. van Dijk

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


TORCH (Timing Of internally Reflected CHerenkov photons) is a precision time-of-flight detector for particle identification at low momentum. It uses Cherenkov photons produced by charged particles passing through a quartz radiator plate. Some of these photons propagate by total internal reflection, they emerge at the edges and are subsequently focused onto photon detectors. The recorded positions and arrival times of the photons are used to precisely reconstruct their trajectory and propagation time in the quartz. This allows to determine the crossing time of the particles through the plate. The TORCH design requires the development of fast photon detectors with fine and asymmetric anode segmentation. The overall per-photon time precision must be better than 70 ps after signal processing and photon path reconstruction in the quartz. In addition, the photon detectors must survive several years of high illumination levels. The on-going R&D programme aims at demonstrating the TORCH basic concept through the realization of a detector module equipped with custom photon detectors featuring the required granularity and lifetime, with dedicated fast front-end electronics and with high-quality quartz radiator and focussing optics. This paper will report on the latest TORCH results achieved in the laboratory and in charged particle beam tests. It will also introduce the developments towards a full-scale module prototype.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)53-56
Number of pages4
JournalNuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research, Section A: Accelerators, Spectrometers, Detectors and Associated Equipment
Early online date31 Oct 2017
Publication statusPublished - 21 Dec 2018


  • Cherenkov light
  • Micro-channel plate photon detectors
  • Time-of-flight


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