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

Latest ALICE Submissions

Measurement of the $Λ$ hyperon lifetimeA new, more precise measurement of the $\Lambda$ hyperon lifetime is performed using a large data sample of Pb$-$Pb collisions at $\sqrt{s_{\rm NN}} = 5.02$ TeV with ALICE. The $\Lambda$ and $\overline{\Lambda}$ hyperons are reconstructed at midrapidity using their two-body weak decay channel $\Lambda \rightarrow \mathrm{p} + \pi^{-}$ and $\overline{\Lambda} \rightarrow \overline{\mathrm{p}} + \pi^{+}$. The measured value of the $\Lambda$ lifetime is $\tau_{\Lambda} = [261.07 \pm 0.37 \ ( \rm stat.) \pm 0.72 \ (\rm syst.) ]\ \rm ps$. The relative difference between the lifetime of $\Lambda$ and $\overline{\Lambda}$, which represents an important test of CPT invariance in the strangeness sector, is also measured. The obtained value $(\tau_{\Lambda}-\tau_{\overline{\Lambda}})/\tau_{\Lambda} = 0.0013 \pm 0.0028 \ (\mathrm{stat.}) \pm 0.0021 \ (\mathrm{syst.})$ is consistent with zero within the uncertainties. Both measurements of the $\Lambda$ hyperon lifetime and of the relative difference between $\tau_{\Lambda}$ and $\tau_{\overline{\Lambda}}$ are in agreement with the corresponding world averages of the Particle Data Group and about a factor of three more precise.
Measurement of the radius dependence of charged-particle jet suppression in Pb-Pb collisions at $\sqrt{s_{\rm NN}}$ = 5.02 TeVThe ALICE Collaboration reports a new differential measurement of inclusive jet suppression using pp and Pb$-$Pb collision data at center-of-mass energy per nucleon-nucleon collision $\sqrt{s_{\rm NN}} = 5.02$ TeV. Charged-particle jets are reconstructed using the anti-$k_{\rm T}$ algorithm with resolution parameters $R =$ 0.2, 0.3, 0.4, 0.5, and 0.6 in pp collisions and $R =$ 0.2, 0.4, 0.6 in central (0$-$10%), semi-central (30$-$50%), and peripheral (60$-$80%) Pb$-$Pb collisions. The analysis uses a novel approach based on machine learning to mitigate the influence of jet background in central heavy-ion collisions, which enables measurements of inclusive jet suppression for jet $p_{\rm T} \geq 40$ GeV/$c$ in central collisions at a resolution parameter of $R = 0.6$. This is the lowest value of jet $p_{\rm T}$ achieved for inclusive jet measurements at $R=0.6$ at the LHC, and is an important step for discriminating different models of jet quenching in the quark-gluon plasma. The transverse momentum spectra, nuclear modification factors, and derived cross section and nuclear modification factor ratios for different jet resolution parameters of charged-particle jets are presented and compared to model predictions. A mild dependence of the nuclear modification factor ratios on collision centrality and resolution parameter is observed. The results are compared to a variety of jet quenching models with varying levels of agreement, demonstrating the effectiveness of this observable to discriminate between models.
Azimuthal correlations of heavy-flavor hadron decay electrons with charged particles in pp and p-Pb collisions at $\sqrt{s_{\rm NN}}$ = 5.02 TeVThe azimuthal ($\Delta\varphi$) correlation distributions between heavy-flavor decay electrons and associated charged particles are measured in pp and p$-$Pb collisions at $\sqrt{s_{\rm{NN}}} = 5.02$ TeV. Results are reported for electrons with transverse momentum $4 < ~p_{\rm T} < ~16$ GeV/$c$ and pseudorapidity $|\eta| < ~0.6$. The associated charged particles are selected with transverse momentum $1 < ~p_{\rm T} < ~7$ GeV/$c$, and relative pseudorapidity separation with the leading electron $|\Delta\eta| < ~ 1$. The correlation measurements are performed to study and characterize the fragmentation and hadronization of heavy quarks. The correlation structures are fitted with a constant and two von Mises functions to obtain the baseline and the near- and away-side peaks, respectively. The results from p$-$Pb collisions are compared with those from pp collisions to study the effects of cold nuclear matter. In the measured trigger electron and associated particle kinematic regions, the two collision systems give consistent results. The $\Delta\varphi$ distribution and the peak observables in pp and p$-$Pb collisions are compared with calculations from various Monte Carlo event generators.
Inclusive photon production at forward rapidities in pp and p$-$Pb collisions at $\sqrt{s_{\rm NN}} = 5.02$ TeVA study of multiplicity and pseudorapidity distributions of inclusive photons measured in pp and p$-$Pb collisions at a center-of-mass energy per nucleon$-$nucleon collision of $\sqrt{s_{\rm NN}} = 5.02$ TeV using the ALICE detector in the forward pseudorapidity region $2.3 < ~ \eta_{\rm lab} < ~ 3.9$ is presented. Measurements in p$-$Pb collisions are reported for two beam configurations in which the directions of the proton and lead ion beam were reversed. The pseudorapidity distributions in p$-$Pb collisions are obtained for seven centrality classes which are defined based on different event activity estimators, i.e., the charged-particle multiplicity measured at midrapidity as well as the energy deposited in a calorimeter at beam rapidity. The inclusive photon multiplicity distributions for both pp and p$-$Pb collisions are described by double negative binomial distributions. The pseudorapidity distributions of inclusive photons are compared to those of charged particles at midrapidity in \pp collisions and for different centrality classes in p$-$Pb collisions. The results are compared to predictions from various Monte Carlo event generators. None of the generators considered in this paper reproduces the inclusive photon multiplicity distributions in the reported multiplicity range. The pseudorapidity distributions are, however, better described by the same generators.
Measurement of the non-prompt D-meson fraction as a function of multiplicity in proton$-$proton collisions at $\sqrt{s} = 13$ TeVThe fractions of non-prompt (i.e. originating from beauty-hadron decays) D$^0$ and D$^+$ mesons with respect to the inclusive yield are measured as a function of the charged-particle multiplicity in proton$-$proton collisions at a centre-of-mass energy of $\sqrt{s} = 13$ TeV with the ALICE detector at the LHC. The results are reported in intervals of transverse momentum ($p_{\rm T}$) and integrated in the range $1 < ~ p_{\rm T} < ~ 24$ GeV/$c$. The fraction of non-prompt D$^0$ and D$^+$ mesons is found to increase slightly as a function of $p_{\rm T}$ in all the measured multiplicity intervals, while no significant dependence on the charged-particle multiplicity is observed. In order to investigate the production and hadronisation mechanisms of charm and beauty quarks, the results are compared to PYTHIA 8 as well as EPOS 3 and EPOS 4 Monte Carlo simulations, and to calculations based on the colour glass condensate including three-pomeron fusion.
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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

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)