The program of SPHERE consists of four activities:

  • Physics (PHY): close collaboration between various theory groups and experimentalists to define the goals of future experiments and to focus on the most relevant physics issues. Weak decays of hypernuclei and the production of various exotic hypernuclei (hypernuclei with extreme isospin, multiple strangeness or charm) are major topics.
  • Experiments (EXP): hypernuclear experiments planning and analysis and interpretation of experimental results require detailed input from very different branches of physics, ranging from high energy nuclear reactions, atomic transitions in hyperatoms, nuclear capture, nuclear physics up to hadron physics.
  • Detectors (DET): exchange of know-how to design, to build, to integrate and to operate the new experimental equipments and develop analysis tools.
  • Theory (THE): this activity will serve to join efforts of the various theory groups with the common goal to develop theoretical models appropriate for the analysis of hypernuclear production and structure data, including large-scale numerical simulations.

Description of work and role of partners
SPHERE includes the experimental groups of the three major experiments devoted to hypernuclear physics in Europe: (KAOS/A1@MAMI, HYPHI@GSI, PANDA@FAIR). The FINUDA@LNF experiment has ended its data taking. Even though the analysis of the collected data of FINUDA will continue for some time, this stage is unlikely to cover the full period from 2012 to 2014. However, based on the expertise gained at FINUDA, a part of the Torino Group has joined the ALICE experiment at the LHC to study hypernuclear production in relativistic heavy ion collisions.

The physics activity (PHY) comprises five tasks:

  • exploring the role of weak decays in various nuclei which are accessible in future experiments;
  • feasibility study of weak decay measurements at KAOS/A1;
  • exploring the physics potential of exotic hypernuclei with extreme isospin, multiple strangeness or with charm;
  • exploring the role of elementary processes for the production of hypernuclei;
  • exploring the possibility of identifying hypernuclei and anti-hypernuclei with the ALICE apparatus at LHC.

All groups will participate in these activities. Most of these activities will continue throughout the full funding period.

The experimental activity (EXP) comprises three tasks:

  • development of Monte Carlo codes based on detailed physics input for the experiments;
  • optimization of experimental setups for the various experiments;
  • development of common analysis strategies and tools.

The main contributions will come from UMainz, INFN-Torino and GSI. However theoretical input to the simulations is mandatory.

The three tasks of the detector activity (DET) are listed below:

  •  production and test of a HPGe cluster detector for the PANDA experiments;
  • developement of a new large area neutron detector for weak decay studies at KAOS/A1 and HypHI;
  • development of new tracking detectors with less materials and new trigger systems for HypHI.

The main contributors to this activity will be INFN-Torino, GSI and UMainz

The four tasks of the theoretical activity (THE) are:

  • relation of weak decay of hypernuclei to fundamental processes of QCD;
  • relation of hypernuclear observables to chiral EFT phenomenology and to SU(3)F phenomenology of baryon-baryon interactions;
  • strange mesons in hadronic systems (Kbar systems) and their relationship to hyperonic degrees of freedom;
  • application of hypernuclear physics achievements to other fields of physics.

The contributions will come from UB, JLU, Hebrew University, INP-Rez, Universita’ di Torino, University of Valencia and CAC Warsaw.


The HadronPhysics3 project is supported by the European Union
under the 7th Framework Capacities Programme in the area of Research Infrastructures (RI).