SHMS Aerogel

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This wiki serves as a reference page outlining useful details regarding the SHMS aerogel detector

Hadronic reactions producing strange quarks such as the exclusive p (, ′ ) e eK+ Λ and p ( , ′ )Σ e eK+ 0 reactions, or the semi-inclusive p (, ′ ) e eK X + reaction, play an important role in studies of hadron structure and the dynamics that bind the most basic elements of nuclear physics. The small-angle capability of the new Super High Momentum Spectrometer (SHMS) in Hall C, coupled with its high momentum reach – up to the anticipated 11- GeV beam energy in Hall C – and coincidence capability with the well-understood High Momentum Spectrometer (HMS), will allow for probes of such hadron structure involving strangeness down to the smallest distance scales to date. To cleanly select the kaons, a threshold aerogel Cerenkov detector has been constructed for the SHMS. The detector consists of an aerogel tray followed by a diffusion box. Four trays for aerogel of nominal refractive indices of n=1.030, 1.020, 1.015 and 1.011 were constructed. The tray combination will allow for identification of kaons from 1 GeV/c up to 7.2 GeV/c, reaching ∼10−2 proton and 10−3 pion rejection, with kaon detection efficiency better than 95%. The diffusion box of the detector is equipped with 14 five-inch diameter photomultiplier tubes. Its interior walls are covered with Gore diffusive reflector, which is superior to the commonly used Millipore paper and improved the detector performance by 35%. The inner surface of the two aerogel trays with higher refractive index is covered with Millipore paper, however, those two trays with lower aerogel refractive index are again covered with Gore diffusive reflector for higher performance. The measured mean number of photoelectrons in saturation is ∼12 for n=1.030, ∼8 for n=1.020, ∼10 for n=1.015, and ∼5.5 for n=1.011. The design details, the results of component characterization, and initial performance tests and optimization of the detector are presented.

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