The Key Laboratory of “Quark & Lepton Physics” of the Ministry of Education (MOE) in Central China Normal University was established on the basis of three important components: the Key Laboratory of High Energy Physics of Hubei Province, the “Institute of Particle Physics" and the "Photon and Electron Physics Laboratory" of the university. The Key Laboratory started its activities in 2006 and fully approved by the Ministry of Education in 2010. The laboratory is the first research team that focused on the physics of quark matter and its signal detection in China. With the long-term sustained strong support from the university the laboratory has developed rapidly. The join force of two worldwide well-known leaders, via the Thousand Talents Program, to the Key Laboratory as well as a batch of young talents further enhanced the development of the Key Laboratory which has become a domestically and internationally well-known research center for the physics of high-energy nuclear collisions. The Laboratory is functioning according to the international standard with well-defined structure and clear vision, taking the leading role in the field of hard probes, collectivity and the QCD phase structure in high-energy nuclear collisions.
The staff of the Key Laboratory is an international team: it currently has 48 staffs, including 44 scientific researchers (31 professors and 11 associate professors). Two distinguished experts of the "Thousand Talents Program", four "Youth Thousand Talents Program", two Distinguished Young Scholars and MOE ChangJiang Scholar, three National Outstanding Youth Fund, seven Humboldt scholarship holders, eight New Century Talents of Ministry of Education, four Chutian Scholars of Hubei Province and two winners of National 100 Excellent Doctoral Dissertations of China. Additional eight internationally renowned foreign scholars are hired as honorary professors in the laboratory.
The Key Laboratory is supported by several prestigious groups and centers including the National Innovation Research Group of High Energy Nuclear Physics, International Research Center for Quark Matter and Detection of the Ministry of Science and Technology, Hubei Key Laboratory of High Energy Physics, International Joint Research Centre for Quark Matter (Hubei Province), CCNU (Central China Normal University)-FAIR International Cooperation Center and Overseas Expertise Introduction Base for Discipline Innovation of Quark Matter Physics.
The laboratory now has first-level physics programs for doctoral and master degree and mobile station for post-doctoral research in physics. Its theoretical physics is a national key discipline. It now has 133 graduate students, including 86 master students and 47 doctoral students, and 12 post-doctors working in the mobile station.
The laboratory covers an area of 4,000km2 and has a number of advanced equipment such as solid state track precision measuring instrument, nuclear electronics and weak signal processing platform, particle detector pre-research platform, high-speed oscilloscope, vector network analyzer, probing station, large plane infrared thermal imager and micro-focus X-ray source. It has built a 3*1011times/second high-energy nuclear physics grid application platform and high-energy experimental data processing center which has a total of about 900 physical cores and 300TB of storage space and has realized connection and resource sharing with ALICE international grid nodes.
The main research directions are: high-energy heavy ion collision experiment, theory of quark matter physics，particle physics and high-energy collision phenomenology. There are strong synergy between experimental and theoretical researchers. In addition, the Key Laboratory has strong R&D programs for the state of the art high-tech detectors for both basic researches and applications. Furthermore, the Key Laboratory is strengthened by the newly established Pixel Laboratory at CCNU (PLAC) and the high performance super-computer center Nuclear Science Center at CCNU (NSC3).