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Operation of the Cherenkov Detector DIRC of BaBar at High Luminosity


The DIRC (acronym for {\bf D}etection of {\bf I}nternally {\bf R}eflected {\bf{{C}}}herenkov (light)) is the ring imaging Cherenkov detector of the BaBar detector at the Pep-II ring of SLAC. It provides the identification of pions, kaons and protons for momenta up to 4~GeV/c with high efficiency. This is needed to reconstruct CP-violating $B$-decay final states and to provide $B$-meson flavour tagging for time dependent asymmetry measurements. The DIRC radiators consists of long rectangular bars made of synthetic fused silica and the photon detector is a water tank equipped with an array of 10,752 conventional photomultipliers. At the end of the year 2000 BaBar has recorded about 22 million $\bar{B}B$ pairs reaching the design luminosity of $\cal{L}$ = $3\cdot 10^{33}/$cm$^2$s. The ability to keep the beam background level low at highest collision rates and the long term reliability of the DIRC components during continuous data taking are requirements of BaBar to accomplish its physics program.

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