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Physical Sciences and Engineering

Electron-Ion Collider

Multifaceted effort in the Physics Division to prepare for EIC, collaboration between Medium Energy, Theory and Accelerator groups, together with HEP and MSD.

The Electron-Ion Collider (EIC) is the highest priority for new construction in the U.S. Nuclear Physics Program. The planned facility enjoys strong support from the nuclear physics community and recently underwent an in-depth review by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NAS), resulting in a unanimous and strong endorsement of its physics potential and mission needs. The DOE approved the mission need (CD0) for EIC in December 2019 and selected Brookhaven National Laboratory to host the new facility. Argonne is strongly invested in EIC development through LDRD and Program Development funds, with contributions to accelerator R&D and design, theoretical calculations of observables, detector design and simulation, and target instrumentation and detector R&D.

The theory effort focuses on understanding how the mass and spin of nucleons arise through non-perturbative calculations of quark and gluon structure. These calculations also focus on unambiguous connections to key imaging observables that can be measured at an EIC for proton and light-ion targets. Predictions for these observables will be used to develop new event generators for physics and detector simulations.


TOPSiDE concept detector simulation showing an exclusive J/ψ production event.

With advances in detector technologies and leveraging expertise, Argonne is developing a novel central detector concept: Timing Optimized Particle-ID Silicon Detector (TOPSiDE). Applying state-of-the-art detector technologies while striving for simplicity and elegance, the TOPSiDE concept minimizes the number of central detector subsystems. The strategy for this design isolates the forward regions where instrumentation is the most demanding. Argonne has multiple R & D efforts focused on the detectors needed in these regions, including ultrafast silicon detectors, large-area picosecond photon detectors (LAPPDs) high-granularity tracking detectors for the extreme forward region.

Argonne is developing a complete simulation and computing toolkit targeting the long-term needs of the EIC community. The kit includes the generation of physics events, the transportation of particles through the detectors, the detector response’s digitization, the track finding and fitting, and the particle identification. Additionally, we leverage the high-performance computing resources available at Argonne to pioneer data processing and movement workflows.