The PANDA Experiment will be one of the key experiments at the Facility for Antiproton and Ion Research (FAIR) which is under construction and currently being built on the area of the GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung in Darmstadt, Germany. The central part of FAIR is a synchrotron complex providing intense pulsed ion beams (from p to U). Antiprotons produced by a primary proton beam will then be filled into the High Energy Storage Ring (HESR) which collide with the fixed target inside the PANDA Detector.
The PANDA Collaboration with more than 500 scientist from 20 countries intends to do basic physics research on various topics around the weak and strong forces, exotic states of matter and the structure of hadrons. In order to gather all the necessary information from the antiproton-proton collisions a versatile detector will be build being able to provide precise trajectory reconstruction, energy and momentum measurements and very efficient identification of charged particles.
Prof. Dr. Helmut Koch (Photo: Udo Kurilla/GSI) is active in PANDA since the early days and contributed in a countless number of activities to bring the project forward.
He is a driving force in spectroscopy with antiprotons already before the LEAR (Low Energy Antiproton Ring) era when the search for deeply bound proton-antiproton-states, the so called baryonium, was his main field of activity. As the spokesperson of Crystal Barrel at LEAR he led the construction of the detector and shaped the collaboration with his smooth but clear management style. When he moved to the Ruhr-University Bochum, he made this institute the spearhead for PANDA in Germany e.g. by publishing the very first LOI that finally led to the proposal for the FAIR facility as we know it – including the antiproton facility and PANDA. He served in PANDA also in a variety of committees, boards and was always focused to the timely realization of the project with constructive and practical input.
In recognition of his engagement and achievements, the PANDA collaboration awarded to him the "PANDA Honorary Lifetime Membership" for his "Outstanding Service to the PANDA Collaboration and the Field of Hadron Physics".
The certificate and the medal were presented by the PANDA Spokesperson on November 7, 2018 at the Festive Dinner at the recent PANDA Collaboration Meeting in Darmstadt. The laudatory speech was given by Prof. Dr. Ulrich Wiedner (Ruhr-University Bochum) who has been working with Helmut Koch since decades.
Dr. Mustafa Schmidt (Photos by: on the left - Udo Kurilla, GSI; on the right- Mustafa Schmidt, private) has received the Panda PhD Prize 2018 for his doctoral thesis "Particle Identification with the Endcap Disc DIRC for PANDA" at GSI, FAIR, and the Justus Liebig University in Giessen. The award was presented by the spokesman of the Panda Collaboration, Klaus Peters from GSI, at the most recent Panda Collaboration meeting at GSI in Darmstadt.
Physicist Mustafa Schmidt, 33, who worked also for a couple of years in industry before his PhD, received the prize of €200 and a certificate for his dissertation titled Particle identification with the Endcap Disc DIRC for PANDA. His doctoral advisor was Prof. Dr. Michael Düren from the Justus Liebig University in Giessen.
The Panda Collaboration has awarded the PhD Prize once per year since 2013 in order to honor the best dissertation written in connection with the Panda Experiment. In his dissertation, Dr. Schmidt studied the Endcap Disc DIRC, a Cherenkov detector that forms one of the main components of the charged particle identification of the Panda detector, which is being built at the FAIR accelerator facility.
Candidates for the PhD Prize are nominated by their doctoral advisors. In addition to being directly related to the Panda Experiment, the nominees’ doctoral degrees must have received a rating of “very good” or better. Up to three candidates are shortlisted for the award and can present their dissertations at the Panda Collaboration meeting. The winner is chosen by a committee that is appointed for this task by the Panda Collaboration.
The Panda Collaboration awards the PhD Prize to specifically honor students’ contributions to the Panda project.