TOTEM will pursue a physics program (complementary to that of the other LHC detectors) spanning a wide range from total cross-section and elastic scattering measurements to the study of diffractive and forward phenomena. The TOTEM program will lead to a better understanding of the fundamental aspects of strong interactions. For the first time at hadron colliders, the very forward rapidity range, containing 90% of the energy flow and explored in high-energy cosmic ray experiments, is covered, allowing the search for unusual phenomena hinted at by cosmic ray experiments.
The technical implementation of all TOTEM detectors is described. Silicon sensors housed in so-called Roman pots allow measurements of elastic and diffractive protons at distances as small as 1 mm from the beam centre. A scheme to tag events from Double-Pomeron-Exchange by diffractive protons on both sides transforms the LHC into an almost clean “gluon” collider, where the centre-of-mass energy is determined by the momentum losses of the forward protons, thus offering an interesting way to search for new particles.
In a later stage, the combination of CMS and TOTEM will provide an unprecedented almost complete rapidity coverage, allowing a variety of new studies, including hard diffraction.