EIC Detector R&D

Lead Research Organisation: University of Birmingham
Department Name: School of Physics and Astronomy


This project aims to develop some of the key detector technologies needed to deliver the science at a future Electron-Ion Collider facility (EIC), which is to be constructed in the United States over the next decade. When built, the EIC will be the world's first collider of polarised electrons with nuclei or polarised protons/light ions. It promises to revolutionise our understanding of the strong interaction, one of the fundamental forces of nature, which governs the behaviour of hadrons and accounts for more than 99% of the visible mass of the universe. It will allow scientists to image, in exquisite detail, the quarks and gluons that are found inside hadrons, studying not only how they are distributed but also how they move and interact with one another. Experiments will be able to address some of the most fundamental questions in science on the nature of matter: how the proton gets its spin, how hadrons acquire their mass from quarks that are almost massless, how gluons prevent quarks from being observed as free particles, and establish whether there are emergent forms of matter made of densely-packed gluons.

The EIC will make this possible by exceeding the capabilities of all previous electron-scattering machines in terms of its range of energy, luminosity, dual-polarised beams, and the ability to probe the quarks and gluons within heavy nuclei. The experimental challenge is to simultaneously measure with high precision the scattered electron, the recoil nucleon and its polarisation, and any other particles emitted in each interaction. This project will develop the technology needed to track particles closest to the interaction point using next-generation monolithic active pixel sensors. It will also develop the technology needed to measure electrons and recoil nucleons at the smallest scattering angles far upstream and downstream of the interaction point. Additional information will be provided by measuring the polarisation of the scattered nucleons using a novel technology known as Chemical Hyperpolarisation.


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