The NA61/SHINE at the CERN SPS is a new experiment to study hadron production in p+p, p+A, h+A and A+A interactions. The main goal of the NA61 ion program is to explore the phase diagram (T − µB) of strongly interacting matter. In particular, we plan to study the properties of the onset of deconfinement and to search for the signatures of the critical point. A two-dimensional scan of the phase diagram will be performed by varying the energy (13A–158A GeV) and system size (p+p, Be+Be, Ar+Ca, Xe+La) of collisions. This paper summarizes the status and plans of the NA61/SHINE ion program. In particular the detector upgrades, data taking schedule and the first results on spectra and correlations are discussed.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.