SPD: youngest collaboration at NICA summed up the results of 2019

News, 23 January 2020

The construction of the NICA collider, the largest project of JINR, is the biggest and most important project in the fields of nuclear physics in Russia. The unique peculiarity of the NICA project is that it provides an opportunity to study polarized effects. These experiments will be conducted at a special facility called SPD (Spin Physics Detector), one of the two biggest detectors at the interaction point of beams at NICA.

Spin physics with the use of record-breaking and unique beams of polarized deuterons is traditionally considered as a significant part of the research programme of the Laboratory of High Energy Physics, starting from experiments with beams of polarized particles at the Synchrophasotron.

The implementation of an ambitious research programme with beams of polarized particles requires careful preparation, planning, development and production of the detector base for the SPD experiment. The youngest and actively developing collaboration of the NICA project “SPD collaboration” is in charge of it. The collaboration was initiated in summer 2019 at the International Workshop “SPD at NICA-2019”. About 20 institutes, universities and scientific and research organizations of the JINR Member States, as well as Italy, France, China and others, have already joined the collaboration. The Institute of Theoretical and Experimental Physics NRC “Kurchatov Institute”, Lebedev Physical Institute RAS, Belgorod State National Research University, Moscow State University are active participants of the emerging collaboration. In 2019, a significant stage of its activities entered the concluding phase: drafting of the SPD Conceptual Design Report. All organizations participating in the collaboration make their contribution to the report. Some of them (for example, ITEP and LPI) take part in the development and creation of particular subsystems of the future SPD facility. That is why it was agreed to hold two specialized workshops at the end of 2019 dedicated to the contributions of these two important Russian participants of the SPD collaboration.

These two workshops took place on 16 and 23 December 2019 in VBLHEP JINR. ITEP staff members I. G. Alexeev, D. Yu. Kirin and A. V. Stavinsky made detailed reports on successful experience in the creation and using a zero-angle calorimeter, the most important detector for adjusting and determining the beam luminosity. They also reported on the results of modelling and numerical optimization of the design of the calorimeter for the SPD experiment. P. A. Polozov reported on the development and successful testing of prototype electronics for detectors based on silicon photomultipliers with the TOT function. A young JINR employee A. V. Tishevsky made a report on the joint with ITEP results on the creation and testing of a 16-channel prototype of the zero-angle calorimeter element.

At the second event, an LPI employee V. F. Andreev presented the most significant results of modelling the system for tracking particles in the future detector which is vital while choosing the types of detectors for registration of particles, the configuration of magnet fields and, consequently, the design of the whole facility. P. Yu. Nechaeva also delivered an interesting report on the stand for setting up and testing of modules of modern silicon detectors of charged particles. As far as silicon micropixel detectors are the thinnest and most expensive parts of many modern facilities at colliders, this report evoked a vivid interest. Moreover, the report made by V. V. Polyansky on testing beams of the S-25R electronic accelerator in Pakhra also evoked interest. In the report by A. I. Lvov, the author spoke about important issues of measuring the NICA collider luminosity at the interaction point at the SPD facility.

All reports provoked vivid discussions that continued even during the brakes. It is obvious that the unique opportunities for the study of the spin structure of nucleons and nuclei in the fields of intermediate and high energies are extremely attractive, and there is a confidence that the new international SPD collaboration will take a worthy place in the NICA project.

On behalf of the SPD collaboration
Elina Baldina, photos by the author