The NA62 experiment at CERN

Birmingham group: Prof E Goudzovski, Prof C Lazzeroni, Dr JR Fry, Dr F Gonnella, Dr C Parkinson, Dr A Romano, Dr A Sergi, Dr A Shaikhiev, J Henshaw, J Sanders, A Tomczak

NA62 is a flavour physics experiment at CERN dedicated to stringent tests of the Standard Model (SM) and exploration of new physics beyond the SM via studies of rare decays, and searches for forbidden decays, of the charged kaon. The main goal of the experiment is the measurement 10% precision of the rate of the ultra-rare decay K+→π+νν using a high-intensity, high-energy kaon beam. This leads to a unique exceptionally stringent SM test, complementaty to those performed with heavy meson decays.

During Run 1 in 2016–2018, the NA62 experiment collected world's largest data sample of charged kaon decays. Information about 6×1012 kaon decays in a region contained in a 80 metre long vacuum tank has been recorded, at a typical beam intensity of 500 MHz. The experiment restarted operation in 2021 (and is approved until 2025) to collect an even larger dataset with an upgraded setup at a beam intensity of 750 MHz.

In 2020, the NA62 collaboration published the world's first measurement for the K+→π+νν decay based on 20 candidates from the full Run 1 dataset. This made the K+→π+νν process one of the rarest particle decays to be ever observed, firmly estanlishing the NA62 experimental technique. The next goal is a measurement of the decay rate to a 10% precision.

The wider NA62 physics programme includes precision measurements of rare kaon and pion decays, high-sensitivity tests of lepton flavour and number conservation in kaon decays, lepton universality tests, and searches for production and decays of the possible hidden-sector mediators (dark scalars, dark photons and heavy neutral leptons) including dedicated operation in beam dump mode.

We play prominent roles in the Collaboration and we are responsible for:
  • maintenance, operation and upgrades of the KTAG (a fast Cherenkov kaon tagger detector);
  • operation and development of the High Level Trigger;
  • development and support of the core offline software;
  • a range of physics analyses, including several aspects of the flagship K+→π+νν measurement, as well as precision measurement of rare kaon decays, searches for lepton flavour/number violation, and searches for hidden sector mediator production and decays.

The Birmingham NA62 group has been funded by the STFC (via Particle Physics consolidated grants and an Ernest Rutherford fellowship), ERC (Advanced Grant 268062, Starting Grant 336581), the Royal Society (two University Research Fellowships), the European Commission (Marie Sklodowska-Curie grants 271987, 701386, 101023808), and via CERN and IPPP scientific associateships.

Please contact Evgueni Goudzovski for further information.

External links:

NA62 detector construction (2012)

The KTAG subdetector built by the UK groups

General view of the NA62 setup