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Particle-identification capability of the Straw Tube Tracker and feasibility studies for open-charm production with P̄ANDA

PhD ceremony:Mr A. (Alexandros) Apostolou
When:April 06, 2018
Supervisors:prof. dr. N. (Nasser) Kalantar-Nayestanaki, J. Ritman
Co-supervisors:dr. J.G. (Johan) Messchendorp, P. Wintz
Where:Academy building RUG

The antiProton ANnihilation in DArmstadt (PANDA) experiment, which is beingset up in Darmstadt, Germany, is a state-of-the-art experiment for hadronphysics. It is part of the larger Facility for Antiproton and Ion Research (FAIR)project, which will cover a broad range in physics. The focus of the PANDA experimentis hadron physics, with the goal to give answers to many open questionsabout strong interactions and physics described by Quantum ChromoDynamics(QCD). It will operate at a center-of-mass energy up to sqrt(s) = 5.5 GeV, with antiprotonsannihilating on a proton or nuclear target. The uniqueness of PANDAwill offer opportunities for unprecedented studies of bound states of particles,such as mesons and baryons, especially in the charm and open-charm sector. Ofparticular interest are the open-charm mesons, bound states of a charm and alight (up, down or strange) quark. Several of these states have been predictedand discovered, but there are many of them which have been predicted but notdiscovered, or vice versa. Moreover, there are still many open questions aboutthe dynamics of such systems, their excitation states as well as their masses andwidths. PANDA will be able to produce an abundance of open-charm states,which together with the sophisticated detector system and the high-resolutionantiproton beam, will allow for extensive and precise measurements.In the energy range in which PANDA will operate, the physics signatures ofinterest are mixed with a large number of background processes, since they aresimilar to each other. For this reason, the ability to distinguish signal eventsout of this huge background is of crucial importance. The tools needed are asophisticated detector system together with a novel and exible data acquisitionsystem. There are several sub-detectors in the PANDA experiment, each oneplaying an important role in the detection of the event topologies of interest.Tracking detectors will perform vertex and track reconstruction of the particles,electromagnetic calorimeters will measure the energy deposition of neutralparticles, and muon detectors will detect the muons. One of the main trackingdetectors is the Straw Tube Tracker (STT), a cylindrical-shaped detectorconsisting of gas-lled tubes. It surrounds the interaction point, and its maintasks are the track reconstruction of charged particles, thereby determining theirmomenta, and the Particle IDentication (PID). This thesis presents the first tests performed with a prototype STT detectorin order to investigate the performance for both track reconstruction and PIDas well as to eventually decide upon the readout of the detector. In addition,Monte Carlo (MC) simulations are presented that were performed to investigatethe ability of PANDA to measure open-charm reactions in proton-antiprotonannihilation reactions.