by Chris Damerell
Abstract Tracking systems in particle physics have evolved over many decades, including nuclear emulsions, bubble chambers, spark chambers, drift chambers and silicon microstrip detectors. Over the past 30 years, silicon pixel detectors have carved out a small but important niche as vertex detectors. Recent advances in the very simplest of this family (monolithic devices) suggest that they may be ready to assume an expanded role for large tracking systems (~100 m2) in some classes of experiments. The key developments leading to this potential revolution will be explained, particularly for the benefit of non-experts in the subject.