The NA61/SHINE (SPS Heavy Ion and Neutrino Experiment) experiment is considered at CERN as an important complement to the experiments carried out at the LHC hadron collider, providing unique data that is impossible to achieve in other ongoing experiments. The subject research of the NA61/SHINE experiment is to study the collision between proton-proton, hadron-nucleus and nucleus-nucleus systems at relativistic energies.
The NA61/SHINE (SPS Heavy Ion and Neutrino Experiment) experiment is considered at CERN as an important complement to the experiments carried out at the LHC hadron collider, providing unique data that is impossible to achieve in other ongoing experiments. The subject research of the NA61/SHINE experiment is to study the collision between proton-proton, hadron-nucleus and nucleus-nucleus systems at relativistic energies. Among the 26 institutions participating in the NA61/SHINE cooperation, there are nine Polish research groups and they play a leading role from the beginning of the collaboration.
The matter that surrounds us can exist in many forms (phases). One may ask questions, how many forms of matter there are, how is the transition from one form (state) to another. The NA61/SHINE experiment is aimed at answering such questions - of course, it does not concern all possible forms of matter, but only focuses on one - quark-gluon plasma (QGP). The search for this form of matter as well as the study of the transition from hadron matter to quark-gluon plasma is essential for understanding the processes occurring in the cosmic space as well as the very first moments of the Universe's birth (Big Bang model). The task of the NA61/experiment is to measure the observables whose changes may indicate the existence of this phase transition - for example: entropy of the system (related to the production of pions), or a change in the production of strange and charm hadrons (K and D mesons). The results obtained in this way will allow for linking the production of open charm with the transition to QGP.
Another goal of the NA61/SHINE experiment is the measurement of cross-sections of fragmentation (splitting) of light and medium mass atomic nuclei. The results of these experiments will be useful in understanding and interpreting data measured by experiments studying cosmic rays, and in particular are of crucial importance to extract the characteristics of the diffuse propagation of cosmic rays in the Galaxy.
The tasks carried out in the NA61/SHINE experiment also include: getting information about the multiplicity, momenta and emission angles of the neutrinos "parents" in the big neutrino experiments. Neutrinos are elusive particles, they interact very weekly. Neutrino masses are tiny compared to the masses of other fundamental particles. They oscillates - changes their flavour as they propagate. To study neutrino oscillation effect the good knowledge of the flux of the primary neutrinos resulting from the interaction of an intense beam of protons with a nuclear target is needed. Only a small fraction of the neutrinos leave behind any sign of their passage. Therefore the good knowledge of their parents together with simulation of such parents decays can improve substantially the precision of the neutrino beam flux knowledge.
Members of the NA61/SHINE group from the Jagiellonian University:
- prof. dr hab. Janusz Brzychczyk,
- prof. dr hab. Zbigniew Majka,
- prof. dr hab. Roman Płaneta,
- dr hab. Paweł Staszel, prof. UJ,
- mgr Konrad Łojek.