SN0646 : STAR 2010 Decadal Plan

Author(s):STAR Collaboration
Date:Dec. 12, 2010
File(s): STAR_Decadal_Plan_Final.pdf
Abstract: The discoveries in the past decade set the stage for the future research opportunities at RHIC. The STAR Collaboration
has identified the following key questions that we believe will drive RHIC science during
the coming decade:
• What are the properties of the strongly-coupled system produced at RHIC, and how does it
• Are the interactions of energetic partons with QCD matter characterized by weak or strong
coupling? What is the detailed mechanism for partonic energy loss?
• Where is the QCD critical point and the associated first-order phase transition line?
• Can we strengthen current evidence for novel symmetries in QCD matter and open new
• What other exotic particles are created at RHIC?
• What is the partonic spin structure of the proton?
• How do we go beyond leading twist and collinear factorization in perturbative QCD?
• What is the nature of the initial state in nuclear collisions?
The STAR detector - with its combined large acceptance capabilities for tracking, calorimetry,
and particle identification - is ideally suited to answer these questions in the coming years. Recent
upgrades, including DAQ1000 and the barrel Time-of-Flight system, have already begun to position
STAR for these upcoming studies. Essentially the entire STAR physics program is built around
the Time Projection Chamber (TPC). It will be crucial to ensure that it remains fully operational.
Studies to date of the TPC aging are inconclusive. If future measurements indicate the necessity,
STAR has the capability to rewire the TPC read-out sectors in order to extend the TPC lifetime
for another decade.
Additional upgrades to STAR will nonetheless be needed to address these questions. Measurements
of identified hadrons containing heavy quarks, both open (D0 and c) and hidden (J/ 
and (1s, 2s, 3s)), will play key roles in exploring the properties of the strongly-coupled system,
thermalization, and the mechanism for partonic energy loss. The Heavy Flavor Tracker (HFT)
and Muon Telescope Detector (MTD) will be essential for these measurements. Upgrades to both
the trigger and data acquisition system will also be required to answer several of the heavy-ion
Upgrades will also be necessary to take advantage of the opportunities presented by p+p and
p+A collisions at RHIC. The Forward GEM Tracker is required for STAR measurements of the
anti-quark polarization in the proton. The addition of a Forward Hadron Calorimeter will extend
STAR measurements of quark helicity and transversity distributions to the strange quark sector.
A second phase Roman pots upgrade will permit a high-sensitivity search for glueballs. Upgrades
to the Forward Meson Spectrometer to provide e/h and e/gamma discrimination, together with the
addition of forward tracking and particle identification, will be critical to explore the origins of the
large transverse spin asymmetries and the partonic structure of heavy nuclei.
Keywords:Decadal Plan, upgrades