Research at the group of Prof. Dr. A. Khoukaz

The group of Prof. Dr. A. Khoukaz investigates the production and decay of mesons and exotic particles, which are produced in electron-positron and, in the future, in antiproton-proton collisions. Other important research fields include laser-cluster interaction and work on an experiment under construction in Mainz to perform high-precision measurements in the field of hadron and nuclear physics.

One of the mentioned research fields of our group is the investigation of the charmonium spectrum as well as potential exotic states, such as Y(4260). For this purpose measurements are performed at the BESIII experiment , which is installed at the electron-positron collider BEPC-II of the Institute of High Energy Physics in Beijing. Electrons and positrons are accelerated in two separate beam pipes up to center-of-mass energies of 2.0 – 4.9 GeV and collide in the center of the BESIII detection setup.

Another important research field of our group is the PANDA experiment , which will be set up at the future antiproton storage ring HESR at the FAIR accelerator center in Darmstadt. At PANDA experiments on e.g. charm-mesons and exotic particles will be realized.
For the experiments at PANDA, the use of a cluster-jet target is planned, which was built by our group and is currently located at the cooler synchrotron COSY in Jülich. There, important measurements will be performed in conjunction with the other components installed at COSY, so that the cluster-jet target can be optimally used at the later PANDA experiment.

Furthermore a prototype of this target is in operation at our institute and used for systematic studies on the cluster production. The main focus of our target activities includes the following aspects:

  • Development of high density cluster-jet targets
  • Systematic investigation of the production process of cluster beams
  • Determination of the velocity and mass distribution in cluster beams
  • Operation of the cluster at COSY and in future at HESR

Another field of application of the Cluster-Jet Targets is the CryoFlash project, in which laser-cluster interaction is being studied in cooperation with the Heinrich-Heine University in Düsseldorf. Here, the ARCTURUS high-power laser system can be used not only to study laser-induced proton and electron acceleration, but also to observe and analyze cluster properties in more detail.

A similar working principle as for cluster-jet targets is also applied to gas-jet targets. A gas-jet target built by the AG Khoukaz will be an important component of the future MAGIX experiment at the electron accelerator MESA in Mainz. Important research topics will include the search for black photons or the investigation of the radius of protons.

In addition to the continuous optimization and research on cluster and gas-jet targets, the AG Khoukaz group is also developing a droplet target that can be used for future experiments as an alternative to the previously mentioned target forms. Using special techniques, the droplet target produces a regular and uniform jet of droplets.