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Nuclear & Plasma Sciences Society

Distinguished Lectures

Dr. Archana Sharma

Senior staff scientist at CERN


Gaseous Radiation Detectors: Status, Trends and applications

Progress in micro-fabrication technology has facilitated the development of radiation detectors capable of economically covering large detection volumes with a low material budget. Besides their widespread use in particle-physics and nuclear-physics experiments, gaseous detectors are employed in many other fields: astro-particle research and applications. The invention of Micro-Pattern Gas Detectors (MPGD), in particular the Gas Electron Multiplier (GEM), the Micro-Mesh Gaseous Structure (Micromegas), and more recently other micro pattern detector schemes, offers the potential to develop new gaseous detectors with unprecedented spatial resolution, high rate capability, large sensitive area, operational stability and radiation hardness. Given these recent developments, particle detection through the ionization of gas has resulted in large fields of application in future upgrades of particle, nuclear and astro-particle physics experiments. In my IEEE distinguished lecture, I will focus on MPGDs and their applications for high-energy particle physics and societal applications such as medical imaging, material science, and homeland security.


Archana Sharma is a senior staff scientist at the CERN Laboratory in Geneva, Switzerland. She has been active in the field since 1989 mainly working on instrumentation especially gaseous detectors. She is the pioneer of simulations and experimentation on wire chambers, resistive plate chambers and micro-pattern gaseous detectors over last three decades. Following a graduate degree in Nuclear Physics from BHU Varanasi, India, Archana received her Particle Physics Ph.D. from Delhi University in 1989, followed by an “Instrumentation for High Energy Physics” D.Sc. from the University of Geneva in 1996. Sharma also earned an executive MBA degree from the International University in Geneva in 2001. She is an internationally recognized expert for her experimental work on gaseous detectors for research in High Energy Physics.

Archana has worked on several CERN experiments both on R&D being involved in designing and prototyping, and on running laboratories for construction, installation and commissioning of large scale gaseous detectors. She is the founder and leader of CMS GEM Collaboration, for exploiting one of the most sensitive detectors for trigger and tracking in the CMS Experiment at LHC, with the highest discovery potential.

Sharma pioneered the development of micro-pattern detectors, her publications, review articles and book: a special volume on Instrumentation on Particle Physics edited by her are widely referred to and cited. Since 2001, Prof. Sharma has led the construction of gaseous detectors and upgrades on the CMS experiment and is well known for incessantly mentoring students into professionals. She is the co-owner of patent on a family of detectors called THRAC – Timing and High Rate Capable devices. She is an IEEE Senior, recognition from the International Institute of Electronics and Engineers where she also served several terms on the Transnational Committee, encouraging participation in this field from Asia.

Archana has served on numerous committees and plays a vital role in advisory review boards for leading International Conferences, Publications and Symposia in the field. Archana is an examiner for European Commission Horizon 2020 projects and some national funding agencies.

Dr. Sharma has been on board as honorary Adjunct professor is several institutions where she teaches regularly courses on gaseous detectors and their applications in high energy physics and in other fields like medical imaging and diagnostics, astronomy, space and PET.

She has been very actively facilitating knowledge exchange and capacity building in the science and technology sector exploiting her mandate in the International Committee and the Career Committees of CMS experiment.

Prof. Sharma is the author and co-author of over 800 publications and is invited regularly for keynote talks in international conferences and public addresses in various science and technology events. Archana has been conferred with many prestigious awards and medals from NGO’s in India. She has appeared on BBC and CNN on several occasions and is frequently cited in the national media and printed press in India.

Finally, as an aside, Archana also runs an NGO called Life Lab Education and Research Foundation with the main objective to create partnerships with educational institutions for the benefit of the underprivileged:  

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