In mid-March, the time had finally come for the support structure of the forward end cap of the electromagnetic calorimeter of the PANDA experiment to begin its journey from Bochum to its interim destination at the Jülich Research Center. The electromagnetic calorimeter will later be used in the PANDA experiment to precisely measure the energy of particles such as photons and electrons.
The members of the EP1 chair accompanied the forward end cap, which is a highly complex, precious one-off, on its journey to its interim destination in Jülich on their own initiative. During the carefully planned transport, unexpected complications arose at the last minute. Due to a short-term closure of the N-Südstraße, the end cap had to be lifted with another crane. In the photo gallery you can see some snapshots of this spectacular action, which caused some moments of fear and hopefully did not lead to UFO sightings over Bochum.
A total of four cranes and dedicated PhD students and research assistants were needed until the forward end cap came to stand in its place at Forschungszentrum Jülich. The aluminum structure, which weighs 800 kg and is about 2.5 m wide, was erected by the Chair of Experimental Physics I in Bochum, including the complex cooling mechanism, over the past few years. In Jülich, it will be equipped in the coming months with a total of 3856 lead tungstate crystal units with a total weight of about 6 tons. These have been built by hand in Bochum over the last few years, thanks in part to the energetic help of the workshops and various technicians from other institutes. In July, the entire system will finally be put into operation for the first time at the proton beam of the COSY accelerator in Jülich. Here, pions and η-mesons will be produced and their decays recorded. With this beam time, the group around Prof. Dr. Ulrich Wiedner hopes to test and calibrate their components, developed over many years in numerous theses, in real beam operation.
However, this is not the end of the journey of the forward end cap, because the actual destination is the Facility for Antiporoton Research (FAIR) currently under construction at GSI in Darmstadt. There, the forward end cap will detect particles from the annihilation of antiprotons and protons in the PANDA experiment together with numerous other detector components. More about the PANDA experiment can be read here: https://panda.gsi.de.
Report and photos: Chair EP I