ABSTRACT: The PHENIX collaboration presents a concept for a major upgrade to the PHENIX detector at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC). This upgrade, referred to as sPHENIX, brings exciting new capability to the RHIC program by opening new and important channels for experimental investigation and utilizing fully the luminosity of the recently upgraded RHIC facility. sPHENIX enables a compelling jet physics program that will address fundamental questions about the nature of the strongly coupled quark-gluon plasma discovered experimentally at RHIC to be a perfect fluid. The upgrade concept addresses specific questions whose answers are necessary to advance our understanding of the quark-gluon plasma: (1) How to reconcile the observed strongly coupled quark-gluon plasma with the asymptotically free theory of quarks and gluons? (2) What are the dynamical changes to the quark-gluon plasma in terms of quasiparticles and excitations as a function of temperature? (3) How sharp is the transition of the quark-gluon plasma from the most strongly coupled regime near Tc to a weakly coupled system of partons known to emerge at asymptotically high temperatures? In three Appendices, we detail the additional physics capabilities gained through further upgrades: (A) two midrapidity detector additions, (B) a forward rapidity upgrade, and (C) an evolution to an ePHENIX detector suitable for a future Electron Ion Collider at RHIC.
Nuclear Physics A 08/2012; · 1.54 Impact Factor