ALICE mission

The ALICE Collaboration has built a detector optimized to study the collisions of nuclei at the ultra-relativistic energies provided by the LHC. The aim is to study the physics of strongly interacting matter at the highest energy densities reached so far in the laboratory. In such conditions, an extreme phase of matter - called the quark-gluon plasma - is formed. Our universe is thought to have been in such a primordial state for the first few millionths of a second after the Big Bang, before quarks and gluons were bound together to form protons and neutrons. Recreating this primordial state of matter in the laboratory and understanding how it evolves will allow us to shed light on questions about how matter is organized and the mechanisms that confine quarks and gluons. For this purpose, we are carrying out a comprehensive study of the hadrons, electrons, muons, and photons produced in the collisions of heavy nuclei (208Pb). ALICE is also studying proton-proton and proton-nucleus collisions both as a comparison with nucleus-nucleus collisions and in their own right. In 2021 ALICE is completing a significant upgrade of its detectors to further enhance its capabilities and continue its scientific journey at the LHC for many years to come.

Recent highlights


Recent highlights

The Λc production yield, the Λc+/D0 production ratio, and the Λc nuclear modification factor RAA are presented Pb-Pb collisions at 5.02 TeV: arXiv link.
Nuclear modification factor and elliptic flow coefficient as a function of pT measured in the 0-10% and 30-50% centrality class, respectively, and compared with theoretical model predictions implementing charm-quark transport in the QGP.
Measurement of the coalescence parameters B2 (left) and B3 (right) as a function of transverse momentum in high-multiplicity pp collisions and comparison with theoretical predictions corresponding to different nuclear wave functions.

Latest ALICE Submissions

First study of the two-body scattering involving charm hadronsThis Letter presents the first measurement of the interaction between charm hadrons and nucleons. The two-particle momentum correlations of $\mathrm{pD^-}$ and $\mathrm{\overline{p}D}^+$ pairs are measured by the ALICE Collaboration in high-multiplicity pp collisions at $\sqrt{s} = 13~\mathrm{TeV}$. The data are compatible with the Coulomb-only interaction hypothesis within (1.1-1.5)$\sigma$. Considering an attractive nucleon(N)$\overline{\mathrm{D}}$ strong interaction, in contrast to most model predictions which suggest an overall repulsive interaction, slightly improves the level of agreement. This measurement allows for the first time an estimation of the 68% confidence level interval for the isospin $\mathrm{I}=0$ inverse scattering length of the $\mathrm{N\overline{D}}$ state ${f_{0,~\mathrm{I}=0}^{-1} \in [-0.4,0.9]~\mathrm{fm^{-1}}}$, assuming negligible interaction for the isospin $\mathrm{I}=1$ channel.
Forward rapidity J/$ψ$ production as a function of charged-particle multiplicity in pp collisions at $\sqrt{s} =$ 5.02 and 13 TeVThe production of J/$\psi$ is measured as a function of charged-particle multiplicity at forward rapidity in proton$-$proton (pp) collisions at center-of-mass energies $\sqrt{s} =$ 5.02 and 13 TeV. The J/$\psi$ mesons are reconstructed via their decay into dimuons in the rapidity interval (2.5 $ < ~ y < ~$ 4.0), whereas the charged-particle multiplicity density (\dnchdeta) is measured at midrapidity $(|\eta| < ~ 1)$. The production rate as a function of multiplicity is reported as the ratio of the yield in a given multiplicity interval to the multiplicity-integrated one. This observable shows a linear increase with charged-particle multiplicity normalized to the corresponding average value for inelastic events (${{\rm d}N_{\rm ch}/{\rm d}\eta}/{\langle {\rm d}N_{\rm ch}/{\rm d}\eta \rangle}$), at both the colliding energies. Measurements are compared with available ALICE results at midrapidity and theoretical model calculations. First measurement of the mean transverse momentum ($\langle p_{\mathrm{T}}\rangle$) of J/$\psi$ in pp collisions exhibits an increasing trend as a function of ${{\rm d}N_{\rm ch}/{\rm d}\eta}/{\langle {\rm d}N_{\rm ch}/{\rm d}\eta \rangle}$ showing a saturation towards high charged-particle multiplicities.
Neutral to charged kaon yield fluctuations in Pb$-$Pb collisions at $\sqrt{s_{\rm NN}}$ = 2.76TeVWe present the first measurement of event-by-event fluctuations in the kaon sector in Pb-Pb collisions at $\sqrt {s_{\rm NN}}=$ 2.76 TeV with the ALICE detector at the LHC. The robust fluctuation correlator $\nu_{\rm dyn}$ is used to evaluate the magnitude of fluctuations of the relative yields of neutral and charged kaons, as well as the relative yields of charged kaons, as a function of collision centrality and selected kinematic ranges. While the correlator $\nu_{\rm dyn}[\rm K^+,\rm K^-]$ exhibits a scaling approximately in inverse proportion of the charged particle multiplicity, $\nu_{\rm dyn}[\rm K_S^0,\rm K^{\pm}]$ features a significant deviation from such scaling. Within uncertainties, the value of $\nu_{\rm dyn}[\rm K_S^0,\rm K^{\pm}]$ is independent of the selected transverse momentum interval, while it exhibits a pseudorapidity dependence. The results are compared with HIJING, AMPT and EPOS-LHC predictions, and are further discussed in the context of the possible production of disoriented chiral condensates in central Pb-Pb collisions.
Production of light (anti)nuclei in pp collisions at $\sqrt{s}~=~5.02$ TeVThe study of the production of nuclei and antinuclei in pp collisions has proven to be a powerful tool to investigate the formation mechanism of loosely bound states in high-energy hadronic collisions. In this paper, the production of protons, deuterons and $^3$He and their charge conjugates at midrapidity is studied as a function of the charged-particle multiplicity in inelastic pp collisions at $\sqrt{s}=5.02$ TeV using the ALICE detector. Within the uncertainties, the yields of nuclei in pp collisions at $\sqrt{s}=5.02$ TeV are compatible with those in pp collisions at different energies and to those in p-Pb collisions when compared at similar multiplicities. The measurements are compared with the expectations of coalescence and Statistical Hadronisation Models. The results suggest a common formation mechanism behind the production of light nuclei in hadronic interactions and confirm that they do not depend on the collision energy but on the number of produced particles.
Observation of a multiplicity dependence in the $p_{\rm T}$-differential charm baryon-to-meson ratios in proton-proton collisions at $\sqrt{s} = 13$ TeVThe production of prompt $D^{0}$, $D^{+}_{\rm s}$, and $\Lambda_{\rm c}^{+}$ hadrons, and their ratios, $D^{+}_{\rm s}$/$D^{0}$ and $\Lambda_{\rm c}^{+}$/$D^{0}$, are measured in proton-proton collisions at $\sqrt{s}$ = 13 TeV at midrapidity ($|y| < ~0.5$) with the ALICE detector at the LHC. The measurements are performed as a function of the charm-hadron transverse momentum ($p_{\rm T}$) in intervals of charged-particle multiplicity, measured with two multiplicity estimators covering different pseudorapidity regions. While the strange to non-strange $D^{+}_{\rm s}$/$D^{0}$ ratio indicates no significant multiplicity dependence, the baryon-to-meson $p_{\rm T}$-differential $\Lambda_{\rm c}^{+}$/$D^{0}$ ratio shows a multiplicity-dependent enhancement, with a significance of 5.3$\sigma$ for $1 < ~ p_{\rm T} < ~ 12$ GeV/$c$, comparing the highest multiplicity interval with respect to the lowest one. The measurements are compared with a theoretical model that explains the multiplicity dependence by a canonical treatment of quantum charges in the statistical hadronisation approach, and with predictions from event generators that implement colour reconnection mechanisms beyond the leading colour approximation to model the hadronisation process. The $\Lambda_{\rm c}^{+}$/$D^{0}$ ratios as a function of $p_{\rm T}$ present a similar shape and magnitude as the $\Lambda/K^{0}_{s}$ ratios in comparable multiplicity intervals, suggesting a potential common mechanism for light- and charm-hadron formation, with analogous multiplicity dependence. The $p_{\rm T}$-integrated ratios, extrapolated down to $p_{\rm T}$=0, do not show a significant dependence on multiplicity within the uncertainties.
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Diversity and Inclusivity in ALICE

The ALICE Collaboration embraces and values the diversity of its team members and colleagues. We are committed to fostering an inclusive environment for all people regardless of their nationality/culture, profession, age/generation, family situation and gender, as well as individual differences such as but not limited to ethnic origin, sexual orientation, belief, disability, or opinions provided that they are consistent with the Organization’s values.


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News of cards

ALICE DCS measured the effects of Tonga volcano eruption (and confirmed the speed of sound)

The Fast Interaction Trigger is the final piece of the puzzle of ALICE’s LS2 sub-detector installations.

The two barrels of the largest pixel detector ever built have been successfully lowered into the cavern and stand ready for commissioning.

The new ITS Outer Barrel was installed in March 2021.

The new Muon Forward Tracker, one of ALICE’s main sub-detectors, was installed in the cavern in December 2020.