spokespersons' welcome


Welcome to the website of the STAR Collaboration. This website is the beating heart of a collaboration of more than 700 enthusiastic, high-energy nuclear scientists. We are Lijuan Ruan (BNL) and Frank Geurts (Rice Univ), and we currently serve as co-spokespersons of a vibrant community of physicists who have been pushing the frontiers of knowledge for more than two decades. The STAR detector has been taking data since the inauguration of the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (“RHIC” for friends!) in 2000. Originally running with several other experimental collaborations ( BRAHMS, PHOBOS, PHENIX, and pp2pp; 2000-2006), down to one (PHENIX 2005-2016), and going solo for a few years (2017-2022), we are happy to see our colleagues in sPHENIX join this incredible journey at RHIC, concluding its scientific mission with a set of high-statistics runs at its top energies ending in 2025.

RHIC is a discovery machine in which STAR continues to play a central role with more than twenty-two RHIC runs of data collected and still more to come. The scientists in our collaboration come from 74 institutions across 14 countries, with more institutes joining us each year. The STAR Council is the governing board with representatives from each member institution. We are the representatives of the Collaboration in scientific, technical, and managerial affairs and provide continued leadership. We have assembled a strong, international, and diverse management team to work broadly within and beyond STAR to achieve our goals.

We are proud to represent a collaboration that, while almost a quarter of a century at the vanguard, is still young at heart, with more than 300 graduate students and postdocs. The STAR collaboration has published more than 345 peer-reviewed papers and, in recent years, has seen the rate of its science output only increase. Our collaboration includes students who were not yet around when STAR published its first paper, scientists who have started their careers as students and postdocs in STAR, and now lead groups at labs and universities worldwide.

Combined with the versatility of and upgrades to the RHIC facility, the detectors that make up the STAR experiment include capabilities that have further expanded its physics reach. Data collected during the second phase of the RHIC Beam Energy Scan (2019-2021) are currently being analyzed and will take advantage of the upgrade to our TPC, the addition of the Event Plane Detector, and the endcap TOF detector - a collaboration with our CBM friends. A dedicated fixed-target program pushed RHIC’s center-of-mass energies down to energies of only 3GeV.

Our Cold QCD and spin research are integral to STAR’s physics program. A concerted effort by the collaboration resulted in forward detection capability through four new detectors first used in the 2022 proton-proton collisions. We expect many more results based on the data we plan to collect in 2023 - 2025.

The following years will not only provide us with the unique opportunity to employ all our detectors and upgrades to collect high-statistics data sets. In the next years, we will also lay the fundaments for a new, post-RHIC era, allowing us to keep our scientific output strong and fulfill what is needed to preserve equitable access to all data and its resources.

As spokespersons, we are committed to creating an open and inclusive scientific environment where all are encouraged to express their opinions collegially and respectfully. We expect no less from our colleagues. We encourage you to take a look at our code of conduct.

Looking back, there is an impressive legacy of unique data sets and seminal papers. As a scientific collaboration, we also must look forward to an exciting future not bound by the last years of RHIC operations but only by our imagination of how we can push our datasets to their very limits. As co-Spokespeople, we look forward to guiding our collaboration through its last years of beam operations and preparing for its post-operations era. We encourage you to reach out to us with your questions or comments about STAR.

Lijuan & Frank

Former Spokespersons

2020 - 2023
Helen Caines (Yale University)
Lijuan Ruan (Brookhaven National Laboratory)

2017 - 2020
Zhang Xu (Brookhaven National Laboratory)
Helen Caines (Yale University)

2014 - 2017
Zhangbu Xu
Brookhaven National Laboratory

2008 - 2014
Nu Xu
Nuclear Science Division
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

2002 - 2008
Tim Hallman
Brookhaven National Laboratory
Now at:
Associate Director of Science for Nuclear Physics at DOE

1991 - 2002
John Harris
Yale University (1996 --)
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (1991 - 1996)

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webmaster Last modified: May 07 2023 20:16.
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