I am now one of you, having retired from BNL at the end of December. I am confident RHIC progress and affairs are being left in very capable hands under Berndt Mueller as the new ALD and Thomas Roser and Tom Ludlam continuing in their roles as Chairs of the Collider-Accelerator and Physics Departments, respectively.
Shortly after the midnight of June 28, 2012, I walked out of the PHENIX counting house and made sure that the last PHENIX shift crew for Run-12 safely exited the PHENIX site and the doors were securely locked. To me, this marked as the official ending point of a superb PHENIX operation in RHIC Run-12.
The 2012 Hot Quarks workshop for young scientists on the physics of ultrarelativistic nucleus-nucleus collisions took place October 14-20 in Copamarina, Puerto Rico. It was well attended by students and young Ph.D.'s from both the theory community as well as experimentalists from RHIC, the LHC, and Jefferson Lab's CEBAF.
As most of you are aware, there is currently a Subpanel of NSAC, chaired by Bob Tribble, which is charged to make recommendations aimed to “optimize the overall nuclear science program over the next five years (FY 2014-2018)” under funding scenarios far more constrained than those assumed in the 2007 Long Range Plan.
All particle colliders have to meet demanding goals for luminosity, the number of collisions per second they are producing, which requires colliding the most intense, tightly focused beams possible. RHIC, as the only polarized proton collider in the world, also has to meet the goal of maximizing the beam polarization – the degree to which this spins of all of the protons in the beam are pointing in the same direction.
In October 2010, the PHENIX Collaboration published its plan for future experimentation, detailing key physics questions for study at RHIC over the next decade. A few weeks ago, on July 1, 2012, the collaboration completed months of work and submitted to BNL management a proposal for a greatly upgraded PHENIX detector which we call sPHENIX.
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"Inside RHIC" is an online publication covering news and views of the RHIC and AGS program at Brookhaven National Laboratory at the level of engineers and students. The RHIC AGS Users Group is sponsoring this effort, and we have tried to cover the breadth of the efforts at RHIC, from physics results to machine and detector development.