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 ALICE Collaboration is presenting several new ultra peripheral collision (UPC) results at the LHCP2023 conference taking place in Belgrade, Serbia this week: Read more
The measurements of non-prompt D0 and D+ mesons represent an important test of production and hadronisation models in the charm and beauty sectors and pave the way for future measurements of exclusive reconstructed beauty hadrons in pp collisions as a function of charged-particle multiplicity. Read more
At the Moriond International conference, the ALICE Collaboration presents (on 31 March 2023) new results on observing ridge in low multiplicity pp collisions at the LHC. Read more

Latest ALICE Submissions

Accessing the strong interaction between $Λ$ baryons and charged kaons with the femtoscopy technique at the LHC The interaction between $\Lambda$ baryons and kaons/antikaons is a crucial ingredient for the strangeness $S=0$ and $S=-2$ sector of the meson--baryon interaction at low energies. In particular, the $\Lambda{\mathrm{\overline{K}}}$ might help in understanding the origin of states such as the $\Xi\mathrm{(1620)}$, whose nature and properties are still under debate. Experimental data on $\Lambda$$-$${\mathrm{K}}$ and $\Lambda$$-$${\mathrm{\overline{K}}}$ systems are scarce, leading to large uncertainties and tension between the available theoretical predictions constrained by such data. In this Letter we present the measurements of $\Lambda$$-$K$^+\oplus \overline{\Lambda}$$-$K$^-$ and $\Lambda$$-$K$^-\oplus \overline{\Lambda}$$-$K$^+$ correlations obtained in the high-multiplicity triggered data sample in pp collisions at $\sqrt{s}=13$ TeV recorded by ALICE at the LHC. The correlation function for both pairs is modeled using the Lednicky$-$Lyuboshits analytical formula and the corresponding scattering parameters are extracted. The $\Lambda$$-$K$^-\oplus \overline{\Lambda}$$-$K$^+$ correlations show the presence of several structures at relative momenta $k^*$ above 200 MeV/$c$, compatible with the $\Omega$ baryon, the $\Xi\mathrm{(1690)}$, and $\Xi\mathrm{(1820)}$ resonances decaying into $\Lambda$$-$K$^-$ pairs. The low $k^*$ region in the $\Lambda$$-$K$^-\oplus \overline{\Lambda}$$-$K$^+$ also exhibits the presence of the $\Xi\mathrm{(1620)}$ state, expected to strongly couple to the measured pair. The presented data allow to access the $\Lambda$K$^+$ and $\Lambda$K$^-$ strong interaction with an unprecedented precision and deliver the first experimental observation of the $\Xi\mathrm{(1620)}$ decaying into $\Lambda$K$^-$.
Energy dependence of coherent photonuclear production of J/$ψ$ mesons in ultra-peripheral Pb-Pb collisions at $\sqrt{s_{\mathrm{NN}}}$=5.02 TeV The cross section for coherent photonuclear production of J/$\psi$ is presented as a function of the electromagnetic dissociation (EMD) of Pb. The measurement is performed with the ALICE detector in ultra-peripheral Pb-Pb collisions at a centre-of-mass energy per nucleon pair of $\sqrt{s_{\mathrm{NN}}}=5.02$ TeV. Cross sections are presented in five different J/$\psi$ rapidity ranges within $|y| < ~4$, with the J/$\psi$ reconstructed via its dilepton decay channels. In some events the J/$\psi$ is not accompanied by EMD, while other events do produce neutrons from EMD at beam rapidities either in one or the other beam direction, or in both. The cross sections in a given rapidity range and for different configurations of neutrons from EMD allow for the extraction of the energy dependence of this process in the range $17 < ~ W_{\gamma\, \mathrm{Pb, n}} < ~920$ GeV, where $W_{\gamma\, \mathrm{Pb, n}}$ is the centre-of-mass energy per nucleon of the $\gamma\,\mathrm{Pb}$ system. This range corresponds to a Bjorken-$x$ interval spanning about three orders of magnitude: $ 1.1\times10^{-5} < ~x < ~3.3\times 10^{-2}$. In addition to the ultra-peripheral and photonuclear cross sections, the nuclear suppression factor is obtained. These measurements point to a strong depletion of the gluon distribution in Pb nuclei over a broad, previously unexplored, energy range. These results, together with previous ALICE measurements, provide unprecedented information to probe quantum chromodynamics at high energies.
First measurement of the $|t|$-dependence of incoherent J/$ψ$ photonuclear productionThe first measurement of the cross section for incoherent photonuclear production of J/$\psi$ vector meson as a function of the Mandelstam $|t|$ variable is presented. The measurement was carried out with the ALICE detector at midrapidity, $|y| < ~0.8$, using ultra-peripheral collisions of Pb nuclei at a centre-of-mass energy per nucleon pair $\sqrt{s_{\mathrm{NN}}} = 5.02$ TeV. This rapidity interval corresponds to a Bjorken-$x$ range $(0.3$$-$$1.4)\times 10^{-3}$. Cross sections are reported in five $|t|$ intervals in the range $0.04 < ~|t| < ~1$~GeV$^2$ and compared to the predictions of different models. Models that ignore quantum fluctuations of the gluon density in the colliding hadron predict a $|t|$-dependence of the cross section much steeper than in data. The inclusion of such fluctuations in the same models provides a better description of the data.
Exclusive and dissociative J/$ψ$ photoproduction, and exclusive dimuon production, in p$-$Pb collisions at $\sqrt{s_{\rm NN}} = 8.16$ TeVThe ALICE Collaboration reports three measurements in ultra-peripheral proton$-$lead collisions at forward rapidity. The exclusive two-photon process \ggmm and the exclusive photoproduction of J/$\psi$ are studied. J/$\psi$ photoproduction with proton dissociation is measured for the first time at a hadron collider. The cross section for the two-photon process of dimuons in the invariant mass range from 1 to 2.5 GeV/$c^2$ agrees with leading order quantum electrodynamics calculations. The exclusive and dissociative cross sections for J/$\psi$ photoproductions are measured for photon$-$proton centre-of-mass energies from 27 to 57 GeV. They are in good agreement with HERA results.
First polarisation measurement of coherently photoproduced J/$ψ$ in ultra-peripheral Pb$-$Pb collisions at $\sqrt{s_{\rm NN}}$ = 5.02 TeVThe first measurement of the polarisation of coherently photoproduced J/$\psi$ mesons in ultra-peripheral Pb$-$Pb collisions, using data at $\sqrt{s_{\rm NN}}=5.02$ TeV, is presented. The J/$\psi$ meson is measured via its dimuon decay channel in the forward rapidity interval $-4.0 < ~ y < ~ -2.5$ using the ALICE detector at the CERN LHC. An event sample corresponding to an integrated luminosity of 750 $\mu{\rm b}^{-1}$ $\pm$ 5% (syst) is analysed. Hadronic activity is highly suppressed since the interaction is mediated by a photon. The polar and azimuthal angle distributions of the decay muons are measured, and the polarisation parameters $\mathbf{\lambda_{\theta}}$, $\mathbf{\lambda_{\varphi}}$, $\mathbf{\lambda_{\theta\varphi}}$ are extracted. The analysis is carried out in the helicity frame. The results are found to be consistent with a transversely polarised J/$\psi$. These values are compared with previous measurements by the H1 and ZEUS experiments. The polarisation parameters of coherent J/$\psi$ photoproduction in Pb$-$Pb collisions are found to be consistent with the $s$-channel helicity conservation hypothesis.
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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

Run Manager (30 May - 12 June 2023): Deepa Thomas .. Read more ...

Run Manager (15-30 May 2023): Silvia Pisano .. Read more ...

Run Manager (1-14 May 2023): Livia Terlizzi .. Read more ...

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).