ALICE mission

ALICE is 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 completed a significant upgrade of its detectors to further enhance its capabilities and continue its scientific journey at the LHC in Run 3 and 4, until the end of 2032. At the same time,  upgrade plans are being made for ALICE 3, the next-generation experiment for LHC Runs 5 and 6.

Recent highlights


Recent highlights

The whopping number of collisions recorded by ALICE during the recent five-week heavy-ion run of the LHC is 40 times greater than the total recorded by the experiment in its previous periods of heavy-ion data taking, from 2010 to 2018: Read More
The origin of the flow signals in small systems is not yet fully understood: Read More
First long heavy-ion data taking of Run 3: Read More

Latest ALICE Submissions

Common femtoscopic hadron-emission source in pp collisions at the LHC The femtoscopic study of pairs of identical pions is particularly suited to investigate the effective source function of particle emission, due to the resulting Bose-Einstein correlation signal. In small collision systems at the LHC, pp in particular, the majority of the pions are produced in resonance decays, which significantly affect the profile and size of the source. In this work, we explicitly model this effect in order to extract the primordial source in pp collisions at $\sqrt{s} = 13$ TeV from charged $\pi$-$\pi$ correlations measured by ALICE. We demonstrate that the assumption of a Gaussian primordial source is compatible with the data and that the effective source, resulting from modifications due to resonances, is approximately exponential, as found in previous measurements at the LHC. The universality of hadron emission in pp collisions is further investigated by applying the same methodology to characterize the primordial source of K-p pairs. The size of the primordial source is evaluated as a function of the transverse mass ($m_{\rm T}$) of the pairs, leading to the observation of a common scaling for both $\pi$-$\pi$ and K-p, suggesting a collective effect. Further, the present results are compatible with the $m_{\rm T}$ scaling of the p-p and p$-\Lambda$ primordial source measured by ALICE in high multiplicity pp collisions, providing compelling evidence for the presence of a common emission source for all hadrons in small collision systems at the LHC. This will allow the determination of the source function for any hadron--hadron pairs with high precision, granting access to the properties of the possible final-state interaction among pairs of less abundantly produced hadrons, such as strange or charmed particles.
Emergence of long-range angular correlations in low-multiplicity proton-proton collisions This Letter presents the measurement of near-side associated per-trigger yields, denoted ridge yields, from the analysis of angular correlations of charged hadrons in proton-proton collisions at $\sqrt{s}$ = 13 TeV. Long-range ridge yields are extracted for pairs of charged particles with a pseudorapidity difference of $1.4 < ~ |\Delta\eta| < ~ 1.8$ and a transverse momentum of $1 < ~ p_{\rm T} < ~ 2$ GeV/$c$, as a function of the charged-particle multiplicity measured at midrapidity. This study extends the measurements of the ridge yield to the low multiplicity region, where in hadronic collisions it is typically conjectured that a strongly-interacting medium is unlikely to be formed. The precision of the new results allows for the first direct quantitative comparison with the results obtained in $\mathrm {e^{+}e^{-}}$ collisions at $\sqrt{s}$ = 91 GeV, where initial-state effects such as pre-equilibrium dynamics and collision geometry are not expected to play a role. In the multiplicity range where the $\mathrm {e^{+}e^{-}}$ results have good precision, the measured ridge yields in pp collisions are substantially larger than the limits set in $\mathrm {e^{+}e^{-}}$ annihilations. Consequently, the findings presented in this Letter suggest that the processes involved in $\mathrm {e^{+}e^{-}}$ annihilations do not contribute significantly to the emergence of long-range correlations in pp collisions.
Multiplicity dependence of charged-particle intra-jet properties in pp collisions at $\sqrt{s}$ = 13 TeV The first measurement of the multiplicity dependence of intra-jet properties of leading charged-particle jets in proton-proton (pp) collisions is reported. The mean charged-particle multiplicity and jet fragmentation distributions are measured in minimum-bias and high-multiplicity pp collisions at $\sqrt{s}$ = 13 TeV using the ALICE detector. Jets are reconstructed from charged particles produced in the midrapidity region ($|\eta| < ~ 0.9$) using the sequential recombination anti-$k_{\rm T}$ algorithm with jet resolution parameters $R$ = 0.2, 0.3, and 0.4 for the transverse momentum ($p_{\rm T}$) interval 5$-$110 GeV/$c$. High-multiplicity events are selected by the forward V0 scintillator detectors. The mean charged-particle multiplicity inside the leading jet cone rises monotonically with increasing jet $p_{\rm T}$ in qualitative agreement with previous measurements at lower energies. The distributions of jet fragmentation functions $z^{\rm ch}$ and $\xi^{\rm ch}$ are measured for different jet-$p_{\rm T}$ intervals. Jet-$p_{\rm T}$ independent fragmentation of leading jets is observed for wider jets except at high- and low-$z^{\rm ch}$. The observed "hump-backed plateau" structure in the $\xi^{\rm ch}$ distribution indicates suppression of low-$p_{\rm T}$ particles. In high-multiplicity events, an enhancement of the fragmentation probability of low-$z^{\rm ch}$ particles accompanied by a suppression of high-$z^{\rm ch}$ particles is observed compared to minimum-bias events. This behavior becomes more prominent for low-$p_{\rm T}$ jets with larger jet radius. The results are compared with predictions of QCD-inspired event generators, PYTHIA 8 with Monash 2013 tune and EPOS LHC. It is found that PYTHIA 8 qualitatively reproduces the jet modification in high-multiplicity events except at high jet $p_{\rm T}$. These measurements provide important constraints to models of jet fragmentation.
Measurements of chemical potentials in Pb-Pb collisions at $\sqrt{s_{\rm NN}} = 5.02$ TeV This Letter presents the most precise measurement to date of the matter/antimatter imbalance at midrapidity in Pb-Pb collisions at a center-of-mass energy per nucleon pair $\sqrt{s_{\rm NN}} = 5.02$ TeV. Using the Statistical Hadronization framework, it is possible to obtain the value of the electric charge and baryon chemical potentials, $\mu_Q=-0.18\pm0.90$ MeV and $\mu_B=0.71\pm0.45$ MeV, with unprecedented precision. A centrality-differential study of the antiparticle-to-particle yield ratios of charged pions, protons, $\Omega$-baryons, and light (hyper)nuclei is performed. These results indicate that the system created in Pb-Pb collisions at the LHC is on average baryon-free and electrically neutral at midrapidity.
Measurement of (anti)alpha production in central Pb-Pb collisions at $\sqrt{s_{\rm NN}}$ = 5.02 TeVIn this letter, measurements of (anti)alpha production in central (0$-$10%) Pb$-$Pb collisions at a center-of-mass energy per nucleon$-$nucleon pair of $\sqrt{s_{\rm NN}}$ = 5.02 TeV are presented, including the first measurement of an antialpha transverse-momentum spectrum. Owing to its large mass, (anti)alpha production yields and transverse-momentum spectra are of particular interest because they provide a stringent test of particle production models. The averaged antialpha and alpha spectrum is included into a common blast-wave fit with lighter particles, indicating that the (anti)alpha also participates in the collective expansion of the medium created in the collision. A blast-wave fit including only protons, (anti)alpha, and other light nuclei results in a similar flow velocity as the fit that includes all particles. A similar flow velocity, but a significantly larger kinetic freeze-out temperature is obtained when only protons and light nuclei are included in the fit. The coalescence parameter $B_4$ is well described by calculations from a statistical hadronization model but significantly underestimated by calculations assuming nucleus formation via coalescence of nucleons. Similarly, the (anti)alpha-to-proton ratio is well described by the statistical hadronization model. On the other hand, coalescence calculations including approaches with different implementations of the (anti)alpha substructure tend to underestimate the data.
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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.

News of cards

First long heavy-ion data taking of Run 3: Read more

Run Manager (16 - 30 Oct 2023):  Michal Broz .. Read more ...

Run Manager (2-15 Oct 2023):  Siliva Pisano .. Read more ...

Run Manager (18 Sep - 1 Oct 2023):  Cristian Andrei.. Read more ...

Run Manager (4 - 17 Sep 2023):  Bharati Naik.. Read more ...