The proposed project carries out experimental research in the field of hadronic physics at the CERN SPS accelerator, using the NA49 detector. This research is centred on the sector of son interactions both in elementary hadronic and in nuclear collisions. As such it pertains to an area of Quantum Chromodynamics which does not allow for quantitative theoretical predictions using perturbation theory. Nevertheless the study of high-energy nuclear collision which is actively pursued both in Europe and in the United States has produced claims for a new, de-confined state corresponding to a QCD phase transition. The decisive signatures of this new state are, however, circumstantial as they rely completely on comparisons to the non-calculable elementary interactions. The project aims at providing a more solid experimental basis for these claims and comparisons. The main objectives are the following: experimental study of the full range of hadronic interactions with the same detector in order to enhance data quality and reliability; development of model-independent argumentations in order to validate theoretical approximations; building up solid links between elementary and nuclear interactions. The NA49 experiment makes these objectives accessible through superior tracking and particle identification capabilities over a major part of phase space for the full variety of hadronic interactions available at the SPS. The project will study inclusive particle yields as well as short and long-range correlations between identified hadrons. In addition the project offers a wide range of training possibilities both on technological and scientific research level.
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