Last update: April 1 2011, Hubert van Hecke
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On a related note: see Bills Phenix acronyms page


I n 1990, it became clear that RHIC was going to be built, and that there were going to be 2 or so big detectors on the ring. Seat-of-the-pants guesses for the cost of each of these detectors were in the $100M ballpark. Over the course of several months, various announcements were made about the available funds, and I plotted those, along with some simple projections:
L e t t e r s of intent were due in the spring of 1991. There were 9 or so proposals for major detectors, with room at RHIC for only 2. A decision would be made in August 1991 announcing which detectors would be encouraged to move forward to the proposal stage. What happened instead is that STAR was accepted there and then, and the remaining parties, among them TALES, SPARC, OASIS and DIMUON were forced to merge.
  A grumbling merger ensued, and PHENIX emerged from the fray. Now it was time to get a logo. Shoji called for logo proposals, and we went to work. PHENIX of course is the bird that rises from the ashes, and the bird theme was liberally explored...

The first phenix logo sketch

birds, birds, somewhat serious

birds, birds, birds, not so semi-serious

calligraphic designs

this is the one that finally got chosen

T h e turkey cartoon below shows that the budget crunch had led to the amputation one of the arms of the dimuon detector.
One day Jan and I were staring at the CAD/CAM screen while manouvering the single-armed (or -tailed) PHENIX detector around, and suddnely realized that all that the drawing needed was a few toes and a beak.
A dozen T-shirts were printed with this design around Christmas 1994. A collector's item indeed!
H o w e v e r , help was on the way! The folks interested in spin physics had their own sources of money (oodles of yen), but the question was, were they going to spend it, on the PHENIX end or the STAR side?
A t Los Alamos, one of the subsystems of PHENIX that we started work on was the MVD (Multiplicity and Vertex Detector).

The MVD is supposed to be a lightweight as possible. We studied the mass problem with this full-size mockup of the device. In actual fact, the real thing is a lot lighter than this, and we didn't persue it any further.

O c c a s i o n a l l y , we make it to the front page: Albuquerue Journal, 8 December 1995
W e have a grand view of MVD integration into the scheme of things:
A t the Santa Fe collaboration meeting, held in July '96, some of these front pages were not shown:
beam-beam counter
time-of-flight counter
rich counter
physics with two muon arms
physics with one muon arm
muon tracking station one
trigger issues
spin physics with muon arm south
T h e GEANT standard man and woman visit the Major Facility Hall
W I L L Phenix be ready in time?
d u r i n g the Engineering Run, the MVD will not be in its final location, as noted here by Walt and Jan, since the radiation environment so close to the beam pipe is not known and may be dangerously erratic as the beam operators learn how to control the machine. Instead, the MVD will be on a stand on the floor in front of the Central Magnet, as shown here.
e a r L y names for quarks and anti-quarks.
P o r k, the Other White Meat
is an advertising campaign which caught Dave Morrison's eye, and he asked me to make a local equivalent, to boost morale in the fall of 1998:
K e i t h Haring (1958-1990)
lived and worked in New York City and his pop-art images are easily recognized. In the Fall of 2002, P.D.Q. Schnelling, curator of the Haring estate, came across some sketches that showed he must have taken an interest in our business, probably via his acquaintance with students at Columbia.
A p r i l 1, 2010, this calls for some hacking. A fully functional front page.
A p r i l 1, 2011. An animated phenix gets shot at.
A p r i l 1, 2013. The Run-13 page goes under
A p r i l 1, 2014. Martin Purschke pulls off a good one
s P H E N I X is being designed. Here is an animation
P H E N I X is in its last year, 2016. It will be dismantled this summer. Here is the Run-16 page
Notes on the Phenix 20th anniversary celebration

Notes on the Phenix 25th anniversary celebration, June 3,2016.

Hubert van Hecke