The NA61/SHINE team uses beams of hadrons and nuclei from the Super Proton Synchrotron (SPS) to measure production of hadrons in three different types of collisions:
- Nucleus-nucleus, proton-proton and proton-nucleus collisions are used by NA61/SHINE to investigate properties of the transition between the quark-gluon plasma and hadron gas by collision energy scans with various beam and target nuclei. The measurements are performed within the programme on strong interactions.
- Proton-nucleus interactions are recorded to determine parameters of neutrino beams produced at J-PARC, Japan, and Fermilab, US. This is needed in studies of neutrino properties in accelerator based neutrino experiments. The measurements are performed within the neutrino programme.
- Hadron-nucleus interactions are measured in order to improve modeling of cosmic ray showers. This information is needed in studies of very high energy protons and nuclei of extragalactic origin performed by the Pierre Auger Observatory and KASKADE experiments. The measurements are performed within the cosmic ray programme.