KIP - Cryogenic particle detection - Introduction
New means of particle detection
In recent years important advances have been made in astro/particle physics that have deepened our understanding of the nature of the universe and the fundamental properties of matter. Much of this experimental progress has been made possible by technological developments in others fields - optics, computers, semiconductors, etc. In this vein, the emerging technology of cryogenic particle detection is now poised to make major contributions to a variety of experiments in astrophysics. Cryogenic particle detectors are being developed to make possible experiments, which otherwise could not be performed, in such areas as x-ray astronomy, dark matter detection and solar neutrino detection. But cryogenic detectors are being developed not only for experiments in astro-particle physics, but also for fundamental research in atomic and nuclear physics. In addition there are attractive technical applications like x-ray fluorescence analysis and mass spectroscopy of bio-molecules. In this introduction we will briefly sketch some of the important cryogenic detector concepts and their main applications.