In spring, the first experimental campaign with the AGATA gamma-tracking spectrometer will begin at the National Laboratories of Legnaro (LNL). The campaign, carried out by the GAMMA group in a broad international collaboration involving the main European countries, will use intense beams of stable ions supplied by the Tandem-ALPI-PIAVE accelerator complex. AGATA is the most sophisticated instrument in the world in the field of gamma ray detection. Based on segmented crystals of hyperpure germanium, it is an innovative modular detection apparatus made up, once completed, of 60 triple clusters. The instrument allows, starting from the analysis of the shape of the electrical signals provided by the crystals, to track the single gamma ray inside the crystal with a spatial resolution of the order of a few millimeters.
AGATA will allow us to explore, with unparalleled efficiency and sensitivity, the structure of exotic nuclei produced in collisions between heavy ions. The first phase of experimentation at the LNL will carry out measurements together with the PRISMA high acceptance magnetic mass spectrometer, in addition to complementary instruments for the detection of charged particles, neutrons, high-energy gamma rays or for the measurement of average lifetimes of excited nuclear states. The first three triple AGATA clusters were successfully installed together with the support system for their operation and the electronics for signal processing. For the start of the experimental campaign, it is planned to install up to thirteen triple clusters, covering about a quarter of the solid angle and then extend the number of detectors to reach half of the solid angle in the next few years for the rest of the campaign.