The 50 Years of Relativistic Heavy Ion Experiments Using Accelerator Systems (Closed)

A topical collection in Particles (ISSN 2571-712X).

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Faculty of Physics, University of Bucharest, Bucharest, Romania
Interests: relativistic and ultrarelativistic heavy ion physics; nuclear and particle physics; astroparticle physics; applied nuclear physics
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Dear Colleagues,

As David Scott said, Relativistic Heavy Ion Physics is born in the sky. In 1948, Phyllis Freier’s research on cosmic rays opened a very interesting and challenging field in the larger field of nuclear and particle physics. The general characteristics of relativistic heavy ion collisions were established, and new entities were discovered in this cosmic ray’s era, such as simple and double hypernuclei, for example. The necessary step was the utilization of accelerators and accelerator systems for these experiment types, for better control on beam type, energy, and intensity, as well as a necessary higher luminosity of the different new phenomena and processes expected in relativistic and ultrarelativistic heavy ion collisions.

After two decade of experiments using cosmic rays, Alexander Baldin opened the field of Relativistic Nuclear Physics using accelerator systems, at the Laboratory of High Energy Physics from the Joint Institute of Nuclear Research Dubna. The second part of the Scott affirmation, related to the accomplishment of the field in the sky, too, can be confirmed, now. The first experiments in the field, related to the study of the cumulative production in relativistic nuclear collisions, opened the possibility to reveal the quark-gluon structure of the matter and to establish connections with the Universe’s evolution after the Big Bang.

In the fifty years of experiments in this field, other institutes and international laboratories added at the Syncrophasotron U-10 and JINR efforts: LBL—with Bevatron and Bevalac, BNL, with AGS, initially, CERN, with SPS, as well as RIKEN Tokyo, KEK Tsukuba and GSI Darmstadt. The interesting idea of the performing experiments with heavy ions in the centre of momentum system imposed two major accelerator systems, colliders: RHIC and LHC, at BNL and CERN. The necessity for better coverage of the extremely large energy range of these collisions imposed two new accelerator systems: FAIR at GSI and NICA at JINR.

The journal Particles proposed to the physicists involved in this very interesting and exciting field the possibility to present their results and ideas related to the jubilee of the relativistic and ultarelativistic nuclear collisions using accelerator systems, as well as predictions for the wonderful field of relativistic and ultrarelativistic nuclear collisions using present and future experimental facilities.

Prof. Dr. Alexandru Jipa
Collection Editor

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