HERA-B was an innovative, but ultimately unsuccessful,
particle physicsdetector of the HERAaccelerator at DESY.
Its primary aim was to measure
CP violationin the decays of heavy B- mesonsin the late 1990s, several years ahead of the Large Hadron Colliderand BaBarprograms. Unlike most particle physics detectors, the particles were produced not by colliding two circulating beams head-on, nor by slamming the beam into a stationary target, but by moving a thin wire target directly into the waste 'halo' of the circulating proton beam of the HERAaccelerator. The beam was unaffected by this 'scraping' but the collision rate produced could be made extremely high, around 5 to 10 million interactions per second (5-10 MHz). A novel scheme for moving the wires and the vertex detectors very close to the beam (less than one centimetre), using a vacuum chamber and motorised 'arms', had to be developed.
* [http://www-hera-b.desy.de/general/info/ HERA-B webpage]
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