NA49 is a large acceptance charged particle spectrometer at the CERN SPS, designed to study collisions of lead ions at beam energies up to 160 GeV/nucleon. Central collisions of heavy nuclei at these energies produce multiplicities that are unprecedented in accelerator-based nuclear and high energy physics experiments: over 1000 charged particles may be produced in a single collision. To image these enormously complex events, NA49 is based upon four large Time Projection Chambers (TPCs), two Vertex TPCs (VTPCs) placed sequentially along the beamline within large dipole magnets, and two Main TPCs (MTPCs) placed side-by-side downstream of the magnets. Particle identification over wide phase space is carried out via the measurement of specific ionization (<dE/dx>) in the TPC gas, and via Time of Flight over a narrower acceptance where the <dE/dx> technique does not have sufficient resolution. The principal trigger for heavy ion collisions is forward-going energy (E VETO ), measured by a calorimeter with a narrow apperture placed 25 m downstream of the target.
KeywordsTransverse Momentum Radial Flow Elliptic Flow NA49 Collaboration Medium Bias
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