St Petersburg University has extended collaboration with the CERN for another 10 years, a new agreement says. It stipulates areas of research and engineering collaboration, maintaining and upgrading of the multi-purpose experimental facility NA61/SHINE.

Apart from the NA61/SHINE experiment, SPbU will design, construct and maintain a new vertex tracking detector (SPbU physicists created a NA61/SHINE vertex detector for open charm measurements), designed by SPbU’s Laboratory of Ultra-High Energy Physics with their Polish and German colleagues for the NA61/SHINE experiment. The device will shed light on the state of the matter in the first moments after the Big Bang.

As the detector is operating 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week, scientists and technicians have been running shifts 24 hours a day. SPbU, according to the agreement, is responsible for a number of these shifts.

Also, scientists from St Petersburg will measure and get final results of the experiment.

St Petersburg University has been collaborating with the CERN since 1992, when the scientists from the Laboratory of Ultra-High Energy Physics joined the ALICE Collaboration. In 2008, SPbU joined the NA61/SHINE experiment, which studies the properties of hadrons in collisions of beam particles with fixed targets.