The aim of the project is to launch an experimental research program to explore the properties of super-dense baryonic matter as created in high-energy heavy-ion collisions. This program addresses fundamental scientific questions like the confinement of quarks and the origin of hadron masses which make up more than 99 % of the known mass of the universe. Moreover, compressed baryonic matter plays a crucial role in astrophysics, for example for the stability of neutron stars and the dynamics of supernova explosions. The experimental program is focused on the measurement of penetrating probes (such as short-lived mesons decaying into di-lepton pairs) and of probes which are created in the early stage of the heavy-ion collision (such as particles containing charm quarks). The need of high-intensity beams of very heavy nuclei requires the use of ultra- fast and radiation hard detectors. Their design and construction is an extremely challenging task because many detector requirements are beyond nowadays state-of-the-art.
In order to achieve the objectives the project will be organized in subsequent phases:
1. feasibility studies which proof that the observable can be measured in principle. This includes detailed simulations and background studies and results in a definition of detector properties.
2. Research and development on detectors and components in order to work out a design proposal for the various detector systems.
3. Construction of detector prototypes and development of the data analysis tools. The result of the network activities will be the proof for the feasibility of the proposed experimental program. This includes the delivery of concepts for hadron and lepton identification, track and vertex reconstruction and background suppression. Further results will be design proposals for fast and radiation hard detectors and - in some cases - the construction of prototypes. The realization of the proposed research program represents a major effort in future heavy ion physics which requires a broad international collaboration. The proposed network is the tool to organize a fruitful collaboration between experienced groups from NIS and INTAS member states. The participation in this network provides an excellent education in modern science and technology for young scientists.
117 312 Moscow