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Relativistic Heavy Ion Group Experiments

Here are some experiments in which we are either currently or have recently been involved. While all explore the nature of nuclear matter under extreme conditions, the physics of heavy ion collisions changes with collision energy, and it is important to understand the evolution and relative importance of heavy ion collisions over a wide range of energy. The experiments are listed here in terms of the collision energy.


s1/2 = 11 A.TeV

ALICE, A Large Ion Colider Experiment, is the only dedicated heavy ion Colider approved by CERN for the LHC. This experiment is designed to study matter at high energy densities. By increasing the energy density, either by increasing the temperature and/or the matter density, we expect to pass through a point where the description of matter can not be described as a bunch of protons , neutrons, pions, or other such "detectable" particles. At a sufficiently high energy density the quarks and gluons that make up these "detectable" particles can no longer be associated with a particular proton, neutron , pion, or the like. At this point a new phase of matter, much like an atomic plasma, will exist. The new phase of matter is called a Quark Gluon Plasma. The LHC, by colliding heavier and more energetic nuclei than ever before, will be in a unique position of having a lower baryon density in it's mid-rapidity region. This is expected to make it easier to compare the measurements we expect to get from ALICE to theories which are much more difficult to solve with a nonzero baryon density. Here at OSU we are in the design, construction, and testing of the inner most Silicon Drift Detectors, SDD, of ALICE's Inner Tracking System, ITS. In addition we are involved in the software simulation of ALICE with specific responsibilities regarding the ITS software development.


s1/2 = 200 A.GeV

The Solenoidal Tracker At RHIC (STAR) will search for signatures of quark-gluon plasma (QGP) formation and investigate the behavior of strongly interacting matter at high energy density. The emphasis will be the correlation of many observables on an event-by-event basis.
The OSU Heavy Ion research group is working to develop the Silicon Vertex Tracker for the STAR experiment at RHIC. The Silicon Vertex Tracker will also use the SDD technology. The group also works to develop Monte-Carlo simulations of the detectors physics capabilities and write code for physics analysis. Recent results from the OSU group can seen here.


s1/2 = 17 A.GeV

Experiment NA44 at CERN is a fixed target focussing spectrometer that utilizes the high energy Lead beam produced by the CERN SPS. NA44 aims to understand the properties of extreme nuclear matter by measuring the one particle spectra and two-particle correlations of charged hadrons produced in A-A collisions. Recent results from the OSU group can seen here.


s1/2 = 4.9 A.GeV

Experiment E896 at Brookhaven National Laboratory is scheduled to begin taking data in the fall of 1996. E896 will focus primarily on the search for a six quark particle known as the H0. Other aims of this experiment are to search for strangeness enhancement and investigate hyperon production in AuAu collisions. This experiment will utilize the Silicon Drift Detector (SDD) that is being developed with the help of the OSU group. Recent results from the OSU group can seen here.


s1/2 = 2.7 - 4.3 A.GeV

Experiment E895, at the Brookhaven National Laboratory AGS, uses the EOS Time Projection Chamber (TPC) to measure the 4-momenta of charged pions, charged and neutral kaons, Lambda, Cascade-minus and Omega-minus baryons, protons, antiprotons, and light nuclear fragments with seamless acceptance over large fraction of 4-pi. These measurements were be made for Au+Au collisions at bombarding energies of 2-8 A GeV, extending the systematics already measured by the EOS group (for collisions at 0.25-1.15 A GeV) into new territory at the AGS.
Various results of the OSU group can be found here.