Journal Article

PHENIX: Beyond 15 years of discovery

David Morrison and James L. Nagle

in Progress of Theoretical and Experimental Physics

Published on behalf of The Physical Society of Japan

Volume 2015, issue 3
Published online January 2015 | e-ISSN: 2050-3911 | DOI:

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  • Nuclear Physics
  • Particles and Fields


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The PHENIX experiment at BNL's Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) was designed to uncover properties of the quark–gluon plasma (QGP) via rare penetrating probes. Over the past 15 years, the collaboration has delivered on its promised measurements, often with exciting results beyond those originally foreseen. That the QGP behaves as a nearly perfect fluid and that non-photonic electrons are substantially suppressed has led to the use of heavy quarks as probes of the medium. The PHENIX silicon vertex detectors are opening a new arena for QGP studies, and the MPC-EX, a novel forward calorimeter with silicon readout, accesses low-[math] physics via direct photons with unprecedented precision. PHENIX has proposed sPHENIX, a major upgrade using the recently acquired BaBar solenoid and full calorimetric coverage and high rate capabilities. sPHENIX will reconstruct jets and extend observables to higher transverse momentum, where comparisons to results from the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) heavy-ion program will provide the most insightful. Following the RHIC program, the nuclear physics community has identified an electron ion collider (EIC) as crucial to the next generation of QCD investigations. The BaBar magnet and sPHENIX calorimetry will be an excellent foundation for a new collaborative pursuit of discovery.

Keywords: C20; D30; D31; D33

Journal Article.  3362 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Nuclear Physics ; Particles and Fields

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