On 11 April, the Belle II detector at the KEK laboratory in Japan was successfully “rolled-in” to the collision point of the upgraded SuperKEKB accelerator, marking an important milestone for the international B-physics community. The Belle II experiment is an international collaboration hosted by KEK in Tsukuba, Japan, with related physics goals to those of the LHCb experiment at CERN but in the pristine environment of electron–positron collisions. It will analyse copious quantities of B mesons to study CP violation and signs of physics beyond the Standard Model (CERN Courier September 2016 p32).
“Roll-in” involves moving the entire 8 m-tall, 1400 tonne Belle II detector system from its assembly area to the beam-collision point 13 m away. The detector is now integrated with SuperKEKB and all its seven subdetectors, except for the innermost vertex detector, are in place. The next step is to install the complex focusing magnets around the Belle II interaction point. SuperKEKB achieved its first turns in February 2016, with operation of the main rings scheduled for early spring and phase-III “physics” operation by the end of 2018.
Compared to the previous Belle experiment, and thanks to major upgrades made to the former KEKB collider, Belle II will allow much larger data samples to be collected with much improved precision. “After six years of gruelling work with many unexpected twists and turns, it was a moving and gratifying experience for everyone on the team to watch the Belle II detector move to the interaction point,” says Belle II spokesperson Tom Browder. “Flavour physics is now the focus of much attention and interest in the community and Belle II will play a critical role in the years to come.”