Date of Award

Winter 12-15-2015

Degree Type



Physics and Astronomy

Director of Thesis

Steffen Strauch

Second Reader

Ralf Gothe


In order to find the momentum of particles from time of flight measurements, I used a program called Geant4 to simulate experiments. I made a simple two detector setup, and I recreated a real world experiment. I spent a lot of time learning to code in C++ so I could use Geant4 correctly. I simulated these experiments shooting electrons, muons, and pions through the geometry and measured the time at two points in their flight. Subtracting the second time from the first gave me the time of flight distribution for each particle. I used ROOT to draw histograms of the time of flight for each experiment and calculate the mean values. From the time of flight I found the momentum, knowing the mass and path length of each particle. I calculated the ideal times for each experiment from the fixed particle momentum at which I fired. I then compared these calculated times to the experimental times to see the relationship between the particles. This led me to theorize why the pions and muons were so much slower than electrons, and why heavier particles have more energy loss from ionization. I also used my data from the recreation of the real world muon scattering experiment to predict initial momentums of particles based on the measured time of flight.

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