Great success against the background of global difficulties

Organization, 28 January 2021

The 54th meeting of the Programme Advisory Committee for Particle Physics took place on 18 January as a video conference.

Chairman of the Committee Professor I. Tserruya presented an overview of the implementation of the recommendations of the previous meeting and paid special attention to the Resolution of the 128th meeting of the JINR Scientific Council (September 2020) related to the PAC for Particle Physics. The PAC members expressed gratitude to V. A. Matveev for his outstanding work as the Director and congratulated G. V. Trubnikov on being appointed the JINR Director. The PAC members wished him success in his new position. Participants of the meeting were welcomed by JINR Director Academician G. V. Trubnikov and JINR Scientific Leader Academician V. A. Matveev.

VBLHEP Chief Engineer N. N. Agapov presented the first report “Infrastructure developments including the Nuclotron”. He spoke about the modernization of the energy supply system of the NICA complex, installation of five new high-tech electrical substations. The total capacity of the energy supply system for the Booster, the collider, the compressor station, the Nuclotron, the NICA Centre, and other facilities is 40,8 megawatts. Moreover, the speaker reported on the results of the creation of the cryogenic system in general, and about the installation of its elements, in particular: the compressor station, gas tanks for storing 1,000 cubic metres of liquid nitrogen and helium, and other objects as well. In general, the following figures were presented for the construction of the NICA complex: pile work is fully completed, reinforced concrete and earthworks, installation of metal structures are almost completed (98 – 99 %), the connection of buildings No.1 and No.17 is completed for the passage of the collider’s beam; facade works are 45 % ready; the roof is 70 % done.

The members of the Committee noted with satisfaction that despite all the problems caused by the pandemic, all the development fields of the infrastructure are progressing at the necessary pace. In particular, participants noted the progress in the reconstruction of power transmission lines, commissioning of electrical substations, installation of equipment at the compressor station, and civil construction.

Head of the MPD collaboration A. Kisiel presented the report on the implementation of the project. According to the report, production of all the elements of the detector of the 1st MPD stage is underway. The commissioning is planned for 2021 – 2022. Scientific groups continue developing software and algorithms, optimizing characteristics of the detector and working on physical modelling. Participants of the event congratulated the team on their great achievements, namely finishing of the magnet’s yoke assembly, successful shipment of the solenoid magnet from Italy, and the start of installation of MPD elements at its designed place in the new pavilion.

Results of the BM@N project implementation also received high acclaim. Head of the collaboration M. N. Kapishin presented the project. The team of the project develops detectors, models and designs methods of the data analysis for upcoming BM@N experiments at ion beams in 2021. The GSI/FAIR group that has recently joined the BM@N collaboration is engaged in the development of a tracking system with wide aperture based on silicon strip detectors. Researchers use the experience of the CBM experiment. PAC experts congratulated the BM@N collaboration on the first publication of results in the Nature Physics journal.

The report on the implementation of the project “Nuclotron-NICA” made by A. O. Sidorin was received with interest and enthusiasm. Participants of the Committee congratulated the team on obtaining the beam and its circulation in the Booster, which confirmed the high quality of the preparatory work. Participants also noted progress in the construction and commissioning of the new compressor station of the cryogenic complex, the development of beam transport channels with corresponding magnet optics and other elements of the NICA complex necessary for the commissioning of the launch configuration. The Nuclotron-NICA project is recommended to be continued until the end of 2023.

Head of the VBLHEP Sector V. P. Ladygin made a report on the CBM project. The CBM experiment at the FAIR accelerator under construction aims to study the hadron matter at high baryonic densities and moderate temperatures. JINR researchers take part in the creation of equipment, development of software, and preparation for data collection and analysis. Experience gained by JINR physicists in the development of silicon detectors and software for FAIR/CBM will be useful during preparation of the MPD, SPD, and BM@N experiments of the NICA project. Therefore, the Committee notes the fruitfulness of the long-standing cooperation between JINR and GSI in the implementation of the NICA and FAIR research programmes. The Committee recommends continuing the participation of the JINR group in the CBM project until the end of 2025.

Participants of the event considered the proposal of a new project PANDA (presented by Head of the DLNP Sector G. D. Alexeev). The PANDA experiment on the search for possible exotic states and the study of nucleons structure will be conducted at FAIR High Energy Storage Ring (HESR) with the use of antiproton beam of high intensity and homogeneity. The JINR group is going to make its contribution to the creation of equipment, in particular the muon system consisting of miniature drift tubes. Moreover, several studies have been proposed. The Committee noted the closeness of scientific programmes of the PANDA and SPD experiments, as well as highly evaluated close cooperation between FAIR and NICA. JINR participation in the PANDA project is recommended for the period 2022 – 2024.

The conceptual design of the SPD experiment was presented by Head of the DLNP Department A. V. Guskov. About 300 authors from 23 institutes of 10 countries take part nowadays in the SPD collaboration. The report covered the physical programme of the experiment, the structure of the universal detector, parameters of its components, a description of the data collection system, computing, approximate implementation time, and the cost of the project. The PAC members expressed gratitude for the prepared comprehensive report and recommended to the NICA managers to create an advisory body for a thorough study of the detector and the creation of a technical project.

Written reports on the projects approved for completion in 2020 were considered, namely the report “Upgrade of the CMS detector up to 2020″ for the period 2013 – 2020 made by Head of the VBLHEP Sector A. V. Zarubin, and the written report on the JINR participation in “R&D for the ALICE photon spectrometer” for the period 2019 – 2020 made by Head of the VBLHEP Department A. S. Vodopyanov. Participants of the event also heard reports on scientific results obtained by JINR groups at LHC: the report by a VBLHEP leading researcher V. N. Pozdnyakov on the ALICE experiment, the report by Head of the DLNP Sector E. V. Khramov on the ATLAS experiment, the report by a VBLHEP senior researcher I. N. Gorbunov on the CMS experiment.

The next meeting of PAC for Particle Physics is scheduled for 21 – 22 June 2021.

Galina Myalkovskaya, JINR Weekly Newspaper