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Physics  2007 

RHIC Low-Energy Challenges and Plans

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There is significant interest in RHIC heavy ion collisions at $\sqrt{s_{NN}}=$5--50 GeV, motivated by a search for the QCD phase transition critical point. The lowest energies for this search are well below the nominal RHIC gold injection collision energy of $\sqrt{s_{NN}}=19.6$ GeV. There are several operations challenges at RHIC in this regime, including longitudinal acceptance, magnet field quality, lattice control, and luminosity monitoring. We report on the status of work to address these challenges, including results from beam tests of low energy RHIC operations with protons and gold, and potential improvements from different beam cooling scenarios.


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