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 anti-3He inelastic interaction cross-section was measured by ALICE for the first time. The finding will help space- and balloon-based searches for antimatter that may have originated from dark matter: Link to Nature Physics.... Read more.
On Friday, 18 November, a test using collisions of lead ions was carried out in the LHC and provided an opportunity for the experiments to validate the new detectors and new data-processing systems ahead of next year’s lead-lead physics run. Read more ...

Latest ALICE Submissions

Production of pions, kaons and protons as a function of the transverse event activity in pp collisions at $\sqrt{s}=13$ TeVThe production of $\pi^\pm$, ${\rm K}^\pm$, and $(\overline{\rm p})$p is measured in pp collisions at $\sqrt{s} = 13$ TeV in different topological regions. Particle transverse momentum ($p_{\rm T}$) spectra are measured in the ``toward'', ``transverse'', and ``away'' angular regions defined with respect to the direction of the leading particle in the event. While the toward and away regions contain the fragmentation products of the near-side and away-side jets, respectively, the transverse region is dominated by particles from the Underlying Event (UE). The relative transverse activity classifier, $R_{\rm T} = N_{\rm T} / \langle N_{\rm T} \rangle$, is used to group events according to their UE activity, where $N_{\rm T}$ is the measured charged-particle multiplicity per event in the transverse region and $\langle N_{\rm T} \rangle$ is the mean value over all the analysed events. The first measurements of identified particle $p_{\rm T}$ spectra as a function of $R_{\rm T}$ in the three topological regions are reported. The yield of high transverse momentum particles relative to the $R_{\rm T}$-integrated measurement decreases with increasing $R_{\rm T}$ in both the toward and away regions, indicating that the softer UE dominates particle production as $R_{\rm T}$ increases and validating that $R_{\rm T}$ can be used to control the magnitude of the UE. Conversely, the spectral shapes in the transverse region harden significantly with increasing $R_{\rm T}$. This hardening follows a mass ordering, being more significant for heavier particles. The $p_{\rm T}$-differential particle ratios $({\rm p + \overline{p}})/(\pi^+ + \pi^-)$ and $({\rm K^+ + K^-})/(\pi^+ + \pi^-)$ in the low UE limit $(R_{\rm T} \rightarrow 0)$ approach expectations from Monte Carlo generators such as PYTHIA 8 and EPOS LHC, where the jet-fragmentation models have been tuned to reproduce ${\rm e^+ e^-}$ results.
Azimuthal anisotropy of jet particles in p-Pb and Pb-Pb collisions at $\sqrt{s_{\rm NN}}$ = 5.02 TeVThe azimuthal anisotropy of particles associated with jets (jet particles) at midrapidity is measured for the first time in p-Pb and Pb-Pb collisions at $\sqrt{s_{\rm NN}}$ = 5.02 TeV down to transverse momentum ($p_{\rm T}$) of 0.5 GeV/$c$ and 2 GeV/$c$, respectively, with ALICE. The second-order Fourier coefficient of the jet-particle azimuthal distribution ($v_2$) in high-multiplicity p-Pb collisions is positive, with a significance reaching 6.8$\sigma$ at low $p_{\rm T}$. Comparisons with the inclusive charged-particle $v_2$ and with AMPT calculations are discussed. The model describes qualitatively the main features of the jet-particle $v_2$ in high-multiplicity p-Pb collisions and indicates that the positive jet-particle $v_2$ is generated by parton interactions.
First measurement of prompt and non-prompt ${\rm D^{*+}}$ vector meson spin alignment in pp collisions at $\sqrt{s} = 13$ TeVThis letter reports the first measurement of spin alignment, with respect to the helicity axis, for ${\rm D^{*+}}$ vector mesons and their charge conjugates from charm-quark hadronisation (prompt) and from beauty-meson decays (non-prompt) in hadron collisions. The measurements were performed at midrapidity ($|y| < ~0.8$) as a function of transverse momentum ($p_{\rm T}$) in proton-proton (pp) collisions collected by ALICE at the centre-of-mass energy $\sqrt{s} = 13$ TeV. The diagonal spin density matrix element $\rho_{00}$ of ${\rm D^{*+}}$ mesons was measured from the angular distribution of the ${\rm D^{*+}} \to {\rm D}^0 (\to {\rm K}^{-}\pi^{+}) \pi^+$ decay products, in the ${\rm D^{*+}}$ rest frame, with respect to the ${\rm D^{*+}}$ momentum direction in the pp centre of mass frame. The $\rho_{00}$ value for prompt ${\rm D^{*+}}$ mesons is consistent with $1/3$, which implies no spin alignment. However, for non-prompt ${\rm D^{*+}}$ mesons an evidence of $\rho_{00}$ larger than $1/3$ is found. The measured value of the spin density element is $\rho_{00}=0.455\pm0.022(\text{stat.})\pm0.035(\text{syst.})$ in the $5 < ~ p_{\rm T} < ~ 20$ GeV/$c$ interval, which is consistent with a PYTHIA 8 Monte Carlo simulation coupled with the EVTGEN package, which implements the helicity conservation in the decay of ${\rm D^{*+}}$ meson from beauty mesons. In non-central heavy-ion collisions, the spin of the ${\rm D^{*+}}$ mesons may be globally aligned with the direction of the initial angular momentum and magnetic field. Based on the results for pp collisions reported in this letter it is shown that alignment of non-prompt ${\rm D^{*+}}$ mesons due to the helicity conservation coupled to the collective anisotropic expansion may mimic the signal of global spin alignment in heavy-ion collisions.
Measurement of (anti)nuclei production in p-Pb collisions at $\sqrt{s_{\rm NN}} = 8.16$ TeVMeasurements of (anti)proton, (anti)deuteron, and (anti)$^3$He production in the rapidity range $-1 < ~y < ~ 0$ as a function of the transverse momentum and event multiplicity in p-Pb collisions at a center-of-mass energy per nucleon-nucleon pair $\sqrt{s_{\rm NN}} = 8.16$ TeV are presented. The coalescence parameters $B_2$ and $B_3$, measured as a function of the transverse momentum per nucleon and of the mean charged-particle multiplicity density, confirm a smooth evolution from low to high multiplicity across different collision systems and energies. The ratios between (anti)deuteron and (anti)$^3$He yields and those of (anti)protons are also reported as a function of the mean charged-particle multiplicity density. A comparison with the predictions of the statistical hadronization and coalescence models for different collision systems and center-of-mass energies favors the coalescence description for the deuteron-to-proton yield ratio with respect to the canonical statistical model.
Investigation of K$^{+}$K$^{-}$ interactions via femtoscopy in Pb$-$Pb collisions at $\sqrt{s_{\mathrm{NN}}} =2.76$ TeV at the LHCFemtoscopic correlations of non-identical charged kaons ($\rm K^+ K^-$) are studied in Pb$-$Pb collisions at a center-of-mass energy per nucleon$-$nucleon collision $\sqrt{s_{\mathrm{NN}}} =2.76$ TeV by ALICE at the LHC. One-dimensional $\rm K^+ K^-$ correlation functions are analyzed in three centrality classes and eight intervals of particle-pair transverse momentum. The Lednick\'y and Luboshitz interaction model used in the $\rm K^+ K^-$ analysis includes the final-state Coulomb interactions between kaons and the final-state interaction through $a_{0}$(980) and $f_{0}$(980) resonances. The mass of $f_{0}$(980) and coupling were extracted from the fit to $\rm K^+ K^-$ correlation functions using the femtoscopic technique for the first time. The measured mass and width of the $f_{0}$(980) resonance are consistent with other published measurements. The height of the $\phi$(1020) meson peak present in the $\rm K^+ K^-$ correlation function rapidly decreases with increasing source radius, qualitatively in agreement with an inverse volume dependence. A phenomenological fit to this trend suggests that the $\phi$(1020) meson yield is dominated by particles produced directly from the hadronization of the system. The small fraction subsequently produced by FSI could not be precisely quantified with data presented in this paper and will be assessed in future work.
See all submissions...

Upcoming Conferences (Next Week)

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.

News of cards

The Zero Degree Calorimeter (ZDC) is fully commissioned for data taking in Run 3. Read more ...

The ALICE collaboration submitted a letter of intent for ALICE 3 - the next-generation heavy-ion experiment for LHC Run 5 and 6 (from the year 2035 onwards).

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