In proton–proton and proton–nucleus interactions needed as reference data for better understanding of nucleus–nucleus reactions; in particular with regards to correlations, fluctuations and high transverse momenta.
The NA61/SHINE experiment uses a large acceptance hadron spectrometer located on the H2 beam line in the North Area of CERN. It consist of components used by the heavy ion NA49 experiment as well as those designed and constructed for NA61/SHINE.
The main tracking devices are four large volume time projection chambers (TPCs), which are capable of detecting up to 70% of all charged particles created in the studied reactions. Two of them, the vertex TPCs, are located in the magnetic field of two super-conducting dipole magnets with maximum bending powers of 9 Tesla meters. Two others (MTPC-L and MTPC-R) are positioned downstream of the magnets symmetrically with respect to the beam line. One additional small TPC, the gap TPC, is installed on the beam axis between the vertex TPCs. The setup is supplemented by time of flight detector walls, which extend particle identification to low momenta (1 GeV/c < p ). Furthermore, the Projectile Spectator Detector (a calorimeter) is positioned downstream of the time of flight detectors to measure energy of projectile fragments.