This review discusses the design and initial operation of the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC), noting the novel features of a heavy ion collider that are distinct from conventional hadron colliders. These features reflect the experimental requirements of operation with a variety of ion species over a wide energy range, including collisions between ions of unequal energies and polarized protons. Other unique aspects of RHIC include intrabeam scattering, interaction-region error compensation, and transition crossing with a slow ramp rate. The RHIC facility has just completed the second physics run after beam commissioning in 2000.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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