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Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research Section A






The Heavy Photon Search (HPS), an experiment to search for a hidden sector photon in fixed target electroproduction, is preparing for installation at the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility (JLab) in the Fall of 2014. As the first stage of this project, the HPS Test Run apparatus was constructed and operated in 2012 to demonstrate the experiment׳s technical feasibility and to confirm that the trigger rates and occupancies are as expected. This paper describes the HPS Test Run apparatus and readout electronics and its performance. In this setting, a heavy photon can be identified as a narrow peak in the e+ e invariant mass spectrum above the trident background or as a narrow invariant mass peak with a decay vertex displaced from the production target, so charged particle tracking and vertexing are needed for its detection. In the HPS Test Run, charged particles are measured with a compact forward silicon microstrip tracker inside a dipole magnet. Electromagnetic showers are detected in a PbW04 crystal calorimeter situated behind the magnet, and are used to trigger the experiment and identify electrons and positrons. Both detectors are placed close to the beam line and split top-bottom. This arrangement provides sensitivity to low-mass heavy photons, allows clear passage of the unscattered beam, and avoids the spray of degraded electrons coming from the target. The discrimination between prompt and displaced e+ e pairs requires the first layer of silicon sensors be placed only 10 cm downstream of the target. The expected signal is small, and the trident background huge, so the experiment requires very large statistics. Accordingly, the HPS Test Run utilizes high-rate readout and data acquisition electronics and a fast trigger to exploit the essentially 100% duty cycle of the CEBAF accelerator at JLab.


This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license.

Original Publication Citation

Battaglieri, M., Boyarinov, S., Bueltmann, S., Burkert, V., Celentano, A., Charles, G., . . . Wojtsekhowski, B. (2015). The heavy photon search test detector. Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research Section A, 777, 91-101. doi:


0000-0002-5680-1814 (Bueltmann), 0000-0001-5416-2900 (Weinstein)