The NA60 experiment at the CERN SPS studies the production of open charm and prompt dimuons in collisions induced by proton and heavy ion beams on nuclear targets. The experimental setup includes a silicon vertex telescope, placed inside a dipole magnetic field, to match charged particle tracks with the muon tracks measured by a muon spectrometer. In p-A collisions the vertex telescope is mostly made of silicon microstrip planes, whereas in A-A interactions the higher multiplicity imposes the use of high granularity silicon pixel detectors. The high interaction rate required for the study of rare processes imposes the use of radiation tolerant pixel detectors. NA60 took its first data in the year 2002, with 400 GeV protons and with Pb ions of 20 and 30 GeV per nucleon. The proton data have been used for the study of dimuon production, while the heavy ion data were devoted to the commissioning of the pixel detectors and to the study of charged particle pseudorapidity densities. After an overview of the detector concept, this paper presents the first results obtained with the 2002 data.
|Journal of Physics G: Nuclear and Particle Physics
|Published - 2004 Jan