The RHIC Spin Collaboration:
Who We Are & What We Do
by Abhay Deshpande
RHIC spin collaboration (RSC) is unlike any other "collaboration" at RHIC/BNL. It comprises of people interested in the RHIC Spin physics from all aspects of the program: the accelerator physicists from the Collider Accelerator Divisions (CA), the experimentalists from PHENIX, STAR, BRAHMS detector collaborations, the specialists in high energy beam polarimetry, and the theorists around the world who help us interpret the RHIC Spin data. There are no formal requirements to be a member of the RHIC spin collaboration other than being interested in the RHIC Spin program and curious of the spin structure of the proton.
In spite the informal nature of the RHIC Spin collaboration, it serves an important purpose: that of communication across detector collaborations and accelerator physicists and the theorists, with focus on maximizing the spin physics output without adversely affecting the other equally important aspects of the RHIC physics and collider R&D. Annually the RHIC operations depend on decision made by the Associate Director based on the advice from the BNL-Program Advisory Committee, the experiments, and the CAD. There are several balances that have to be made each year in these discussion: the deliverable luminosity for each beam species-combination based on the CA guidance, the ability of the experiment to exploit the collisions in the best possible manner (which may involve readiness of various detector subsystems), the programmatic needs of RHIC science including balance of operations between heavy ion and protons in RHIC, are only a few, but important examples. It was anticipated early on that with the versatile nature of the RHIC physics program afforded by the RHIC's flexibility, it would be prudent to have an informal forum where discussions associated with the particularly challenging accelerator and measurement issues related to the polarized protons at high energy, could take place with high priority, scrutiny and attention. The conclusions based on such discussions could then be used most effectively when making programmatic decisions on a short and long time scales within the experiments. Some of us also believe that the discussions held in an informal setting is a great class room to learn about all aspects of polarized protons in RHIC, from the world's best experts in the field, not only for the graduate students, but also their advisers. The RSC resulted from joining together of people with such over all goals.
The RSC meets every two or three months except during the RHIC p-p runs, when it meets every Friday evening to review "where we are" in the program. Gerry Bunce (BNL) has served informally as the coordinator or spokesperson for the RSC activities. An informed person from the experiment's spin physics working group or the run coordinators of the different experiments are invited to represent their experiments in the discussions that occur in the RSC meetings. Typically, the "RHIC Run Coordinator" represents the accelerator division. Haixin Huang (BNL/CAD) and Sandro Bravar (ex-BNL/Physics, now at U. of Geneva working on neutrino physics) have represented the AGS and RHIC beam polarimetry for the past few years, respectively. Since the RHIC operations started in 2001, there has always been one additional person who works hard as "the local organizer" and "the discussion leader" during the RSC meetings: Brendan Fox (PHENIX, 2001-2003, now working on Ice-Cube Experiment located at the south pole), Akio Ogawa (STAR, 2003-2005), and Sasha Bazilevsky (PHENIX, 2005-present) have served us extremely well in those positions. Ryosuke Maruyama (RBRC) and Jane Lysik (RBRC) make sure that cookies and drinks are available during and after these informal meetings. Discussions of activities and announcements of the RSC are typically sent to the public list: Spin-Discussionfirstname.lastname@example.org . If you are interested in learning and getting involved in our activities, please do so by getting on to this list.
Http://www.bnl.gov/riken/RSC/RSC-meetings.asp is the official webpage of the RHIC spin collaboration, used mainly to archive and link all talks presented in the RSC meetings. (As this article goes to print, there are plans underway to update this page!)
The RHIC spin program anticipates about 1 fb-1 luminosity (at 200 & 500 GeV CM). Recent results you may have seen from the RHIC Spin program (the 17th Spin Symposium in Kyoto, Japan ) are just "tip of the iceberg", with much more to come. The RHIC Spin collaboration, with its informality and ability to bring all the spinners around the world together, is expected to serve us well, well in to the next decade.
Now that you know Who we are and what we do, in future such columns we will talk about why we do this, give you a flavor of the present excitement in Spin Physics at RHIC. Stay tuned.