NA61 experiment

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Super Proton Synchrotron
Key SPS Experiments
UA1Underground Area 1
UA2Underground Area 2
NA31NA31 Experiment
NA32Investigation of Charm Production in Hadronic Interactions Using High-Resolution Silicon Detectors
COMPASSCommon Muon and Proton Apparatus for Structure and Spectroscopy
SHINESPS Heavy Ion and Neutrino Experiment
NA62NA62 Experiment
SPS preaccelerators
p and PbLinear accelerators for protons (Linac 2) and Lead (Linac 3)
(not marked)Proton Synchrotron Booster
PSProton Synchrotron
NA61/SHINE experiment logo

NA61/SHINE (standing for "SPS Heavy Ion and Neutrino Experiment") is a particle physics experiment at the Super Proton Synchrotron (SPS) at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN).[1] The experiment studies the hadronic final states produced in interactions of various beam particles (pions, protons and beryllium, argon, and xenon nuclei) with a variety of fixed nuclear targets at the SPS energies.

About 135 physicists from 14 countries and 35 institutions work in NA61/SHINE, led by Marek Gazdzicki. NA61/SHINE is the second largest fixed target experiment at CERN.

Physics program[edit]

The NA61/SHINE physics program has been designed to measure hadron production in three different types of collisions:[1]


The NA61/SHINE experiment uses a large acceptance hadron spectrometer located on the H2 beam line in the North Area of CERN.[1] It consist of components used by the heavy ion NA49 experiment as well as those designed and constructed for NA61/SHINE.[2]

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 are located in the magnetic field of two super-conducting dipole magnets with maximum bending powers of 9 Tesla meters. Two others are positioned downstream of the magnets symmetrically with respect to the beam line. Additionally, four small volume TPCs placed directly along the beamline region are used in case of hadron and light ion beams.[2][3]

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.

Collected data[edit]

  • pion-beryllium interactions at 120 GeV/c in 2016,
  • pion-carbon interactions at 30 GeV/c, 60 GeV/c, 158 GeV/c and 350 GeV/c in 2009, 2012, 2016, and 2017,
  • pion-aluminium interactions at 60 GeV/c in 2017,
  • kaon-carbon interactions at 158 GeV/c in 2012,
  • proton-proton interactions at 13, 20, 31, 40, 80, 158 and 400 GeV/c in 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2016,
  • proton-beryllium interactions at 60 GeV/c and 120 GeV/c in 2016 and 2017,
  • proton-carbon, proton-(T2K replica target) and proton-(NOvA replica target) interactions at 31 GeV/c, 60 GeV/c, 90 GeV/c, and 120 GeV/c in 2007, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2016, 2017, and 2018,
  • proton-aluminium interactions at 60 GeV/c in 2016,
  • proton-lead interactions at 30, 40, 80 and 158 GeV/c in 2012, 2014, 2016, and 2017,
  • beryllium-beryllium interactions at 13A, 19A, 30A, 40A, 75A and 150A GeV/c in 2011, 2012, and 2013,
  • carbon-carbon and carbon-(CH2) interactions at 13A GeV/c in 2018,
  • argon-scandium interactions at 13A, 19A, 30A, 40A, 75A and 150A GeV/c in 2015,
  • xenon-lanthanum interactions at 13A, 19A, 30A, 40A, 75A and 150A GeV/c in 2017,
  • lead-lead interactions at 13A, 30A and 150A GeV/c in 2016 and 2018.

Extended program: after Long Shutdown 2[edit]

In 2018 the NA61/SHINE collaboration published an addendum presenting an intent to upgrade the experimental facility and perform a new set of measurements after Long Shutdown 2.[4] As in the original program, the new one proposes studies of hadron-nucleus and nucleus-nucleus interactions for heavy ions, neutrino and cosmic-ray physics.

The heavy ions program will focus on study of charm hadron production (mostly D mesons) in lead-lead interactions.

In 2020 the SPS and PS Experiments Committee (SPSC) recommended approval of beam time in 2021.[5] The Research Board endorsed these recommendations.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Antoniou, N.; et al. (NA61 Collaboration) (2006). "Study of hadron production in hadron–nucleus and nucleus–nucleus collisions at the CERN SPS". Proposal. SPSC-P-330, CERN-SPSC-2006-034. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  2. ^ a b Abgrall, N.; et al. (NA61 Collaboration) (2014). "NA61/SHINE facility at the CERN SPS: beams and detector system". Journal of Instrumentation. 9 (2–3): P06005. arXiv:1401.4699. Bibcode:2014JInst...9P6005A. doi:10.1088/1748-0221/9/06/P06005.
  3. ^ Rumberger, B.; et al. (2020). "The Forward TPC system of the NA61/SHINE experiment at CERN: a tandem TPC concept". Journal of Instrumentation. 15 (7): P07013. arXiv:2004.11358. Bibcode:2020JInst..15P7013R. doi:10.1088/1748-0221/15/07/p07013. S2CID 216080710.
  4. ^ Aduszkiewicz, A.; et al. (NA61 Collaboration) (2018). "Study of Hadron-Nucleus and Nucleus-Nucleus Collisions at the CERN SPS: Early Post-LS2 Measurements and Future Plans". Addendum (Proposal). CERN-SPSC-2018-008, SPSC-P-330-ADD-10. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  5. ^ "Minutes of the 136th Meeting of the SPSC, Tuesday and Wednesday, 21–22 January 2020". Minutes. 2020. CERN-SPSC-2020-003 ; SPSC-136. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  6. ^ "Minutes of the 232nd meeting of the Research Board, held on 11 March 2020". Minutes. 2020. CERN-DG-RB-2020-495 ; M-232. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)

External links[edit]