The Electron-Ion Collider UK R&D Project
15 Sep 2023



The Electron-Ion Collider (EIC) is a new research facility that is being built at Brookhaven National Laboratory, in the US.



A schematic of the Electron-Ion Collider facility at 
Brookhaven National Lab
​The UK nuclear physics community is involved in the project through the development of the physics program and the required instrumentation at this unique facility.    

To fulfil the requirements of the physics program at the EIC, new instrumentation is needed. Funded via the UKRI infrastructure preliminary activity scheme, the UK nuclear physics community is developing new solutions at EIC for:

  • a particle central tracking and vertexing array
  • an electron tagger very close to the beamline
  • advanced simulations for precise nucleon polarimetry

At Daresbury Technology, the Nuclear Physics, Detector Systems, and Projects and Mechanical Engineering groups are involved in the development of the tracking array and the electron tagger.

The solution proposed for the particle tracking array is based on the state-of-the-art 65 nm Monolithic Active Pixel Sensor (MAPS) technology. While this technology is being developed for the future inner tracking system (ITS-3) at the ALICE experiment at CERN, a partnership between ALICE and EIC collaborations is ongoing to further develop the technology for the EIC's specific needs.  

A schmatic of the EIC detector with the central trackers displayed in the inset

At Daresbury, the Nuclear Physics and Detector Systems Groups are characterising the sensor modules before and after X-ray irradiation, and the Nuclear Physics and Projects and Mechanical Engineering Groups are producing the conceptual design of the central tracking and vertexing system.

A timepix3 chip board

For the electron tagger, the proposed solution is based on the Timepix ASIC version 3 and 4 developed and being developed respectively for MEDIPIX, a family of pixel detector readout chips for medical particle imaging.  NPG at Daresbury is designing and building a bespoke data readout electronics and data acquisition system.


Further information

Learn more about the EIC and the UK R&D activities:​

​Written by Marc Labiche, Nuclear Physics ​group leader.​