Monday, December 4, 2023

Why Two Detectors Are Crucial for the Success of the Electron Ion Collider

The field of particle physics is getting more and more advanced day by day. One great role is its success is played by Electron Ion Collider ( EIC ). Since recently, detectors are looked upon with a huge importance and no negligence is not shown towards EICs . A recent article by Paul D. Grannis and Hugh E. Montgomery highlights the significance of having two detectors at the EIC.

The EIC is a new facility being constructed at Brookhaven National Laboratory in collaboration with Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Laboratory and their domestic and international partners. As with any experimental facility, the success of the EIC depends on the quality of its detectors. In early 2022, a distinguished panel of physicists was convened to discuss the experimental program for the EIC, and the need for a second detector was raised.

The panel came into conclusion that having two independent groups of physicists, each working with a different detector, would allow for different solutions to common problems. This would be more important than specific device differences. Furthermore, having two detectors would enable researchers to address a broader range of physics questions. If one detector has particle identification capabilities, while the other has precision timing measurements for its track or calorimetric signals or different position of magnetic fields, the two experiments can be supporting, enlarging the sum of physics that can be addressed by the EIC.

Another significant advantage of having two detectors is the ability to confirm discoveries or results more generally. There have been instances in the past where initial disagreements were followed by confirmation, corrections of one experiment by the other, and eventual exploitation of the combined results of both to achieve enhanced sensitivity. With two detectors, researchers will have more opportunities to cross-check results and validate their findings.

Furthermore, the existence of two independent groups of physicists can result in idea cross-fertilization. Different groups of physicists working with different detectors may develop distinct approaches to data analysis or problem solving. The exchange of ideas and collaboration between the two groups can improve the program’s overall effectiveness.

The importance of having two detectors has previously been demonstrated. Experiments did not contribute remarkably to accelerator investment during the fixed-target period of particle physics. Independent experiments competed and were cross-checked. However, as collider facilities became more expensive, the desire for competition and verification drove the development of two or more general-purpose experiments. The Tevatron Collider was upgraded significantly, and the D and CDF experiments established an important precedent by combining their data to establish a lower mass limit on first-generation leptoquarks.

In conclusion, the development of the EIC is an important milestone in particle physics research. However, to maximize the potential of this facility, it is essential to have two detectors. The complementarity of the two detectors will enable researchers to address a broader range of physics questions, confirm discoveries, and validate their findings. Furthermore, the cross-fertilization of ideas between the two groups of physicists can enhance the overall effectiveness of the program. With the EIC and two detectors, the future of particle physics research looks bright.

SOURCES :Grannis, Paul D. and Hugh Montgomery. 
“Motivation for Two Detectors at a Particle Physics Collider.” (2023).

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