Performance of a prototype TORCH time-of-flight detector

S. Bhasin, T. Blake, N. H. Brook, M. F. Cicala, T. Conneely, D. Cussans, M. W.U. van Dijk, R. Forty, C. Frei, E. P.M. Gabriel, R. Gao, T. Gershon, T. Gys, T. Hadavizadeh, T. H. Hancock, N. Harnew, T. Jones, M. Kreps, J. Milnes, D. PiedigrossiJ. Rademacker, J. C. Smallwood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (SciVal)


TORCH is a novel time-of-flight detector, designed to provide charged particle identification of pions, kaons and protons in the momentum range 2–20 GeV/c over a 9.5 m flight path. A detector module, comprising a 10 mm thick quartz plate, provides a source of Cherenkov photons which propagate via total internal reflection to one end of the plate. Here, the photons are focused onto an array of custom-designed Micro-Channel Plate Photo-Multiplier Tubes (MCP-PMTs) which measure their positions and arrival times. The target time resolution per photon is 70 ps which, for 30 detected photons per charged particle, results in a 10–15 ps time-of-flight resolution. A 1.25 m length TORCH prototype module employing two MCP-PMTs has been developed, and tested at the CERN PS using a charged hadron beam of 8 GeV/c momentum. The construction of the module, the properties of the MCP-PMTs and the readout electronics are described. Measurements of the collected photon yields and single-photon time resolutions have been performed as a function of particle entry points on the plate and compared to expectations. These studies show that the performance of the TORCH prototype approaches the design goals for the full-scale detector.

Original languageEnglish
Article number168181
JournalNuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research, Section A: Accelerators, Spectrometers, Detectors and Associated Equipment
Early online date6 Mar 2023
Publication statusPublished - May 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The support is acknowledged of the Science and Technology Research Council, UK , grant number ST/P002692/1 , and of the European Research Council through an FP7 Advanced Grant ( ERC-2011-AdG299175-TORCH ).

Data Availability
Data will be made available on request


  • Cherenkov radiation
  • Particle identification
  • Time-of-flight

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Instrumentation


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