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

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.
Proton-φ momentum correlation function as a function of relative momentum, compared to the fit function, measured for the first time by the ALICE collaboration at the LHC in pp collisions at 13 TeV.

Latest ALICE Submissions

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.
K$^0_{\rm S}$K$^0_{\rm S}$ and K$^0_{\rm S}$K$^\pm$ femtoscopy in pp collisions at $\sqrt{s}=$ 5.02 and 13 TeVFemtoscopic correlations with the particle pair combinations K$^0_{\rm S}$K$^0_{\rm S}$ and K$^0_{\rm S}$K$^\pm$ are studied in pp collisions at $\sqrt{s}=5.02$ and $13$ TeV by the ALICE experiment. At both energies, boson source parameters are extracted for both pair combinations, by fitting models based on Gaussian size distributions of the sources, to the measured two-particle correlation functions. The interaction model used for the K$^0_{\rm S}$K$^0_{\rm S}$ analysis includes quantum statistics and strong final-state interactions through the $f_0(980)$ and $a_0(980)$ resonances. The model used for the K$^0_{\rm S}$K$^\pm$ analysis includes only the final-state interaction through the $a_0$ resonance. Source parameters extracted in the present work are compared with published values from pp collisions at $\sqrt{s}=$ 7 TeV and the different pair combinations are found to be consistent. From the finding that the strength of the K$^0_{\rm S}$K$^0_{\rm S}$ correlations is significantly greater than the strength of the K$^0_{\rm S}$K$^\pm$ correlations, the new results are compatible with the $a_0$ resonance being a tetraquark state of the form $(q_1,\overline{q_2}, s, \overline{s})$, where $q_1$ and $q_2$ are $u$ or $d$ quarks.
Characterizing the initial conditions of heavy-ion collisions at the LHC with mean transverse momentum and anisotropic flow correlationsCorrelations between mean transverse momentum $[p_{\rm T}]$ and anisotropic flow coefficients $v_{\rm 2}$ or $v_{\rm 3}$ are measured as a function of centrality in Pb-Pb and Xe-Xe collisions at $\sqrt{s_{\rm NN}} = 5.02$ TeV and 5.44 TeV, respectively, with ALICE. In addition, the recently proposed higher-order correlation between $[p_{\rm T}]$, $v_{\rm 2}$, and $v_{\rm 3}$ is measured for the first time, which shows an anticorrelation for the presented centrality ranges. These measurements are compared with hydrodynamic calculations using IP-Glasma and $\rm T_{R}ENTo$ initial-state shapes, the former based on the Color Glass Condensate effective theory with gluon saturation, and the latter a parameterized model with nucleons as the relevant degrees of freedom. The data are better described by the IP-Glasma rather than the $\rm T_{R}ENTo$ based calculations. In particular, Trajectum and JETSCAPE predictions, both based on the $\rm T_{R}ENTo$ initial state model but with different parameter settings, fail to describe the measurements. As the correlations between $[p_{\rm T}]$ and $v_{\rm n}$ are mainly driven by the correlations of the size and the shape of the system in the initial state, these new studies pave a novel way to characterize the initial state in relativistic heavy-ion collisions.
$\mathrm{K}^{*}(\mathrm{892})^{0}$ and $\mathrm{φ(1020)}$ production in p-Pb collisions at $\sqrt{s_{\rm NN}}$ = 8.16 TeVThe production of $\mathrm{K}^{*}(\mathrm{892})^{0}$ and $\mathrm{\phi(1020)}$ resonances has been measured in p-Pb collisions at $\sqrt{s_{\rm NN}}$ = 8.16 TeV using the ALICE detector. Resonances are reconstructed via their hadronic decay channels in the rapidity interval $-$0.5 $ < ~$ $y$ $ < ~$ 0 and the transverse momentum spectra are measured for various multiplicity classes up to $p_{\rm T}$ = 20 GeV/$c$ for $\mathrm{K}^{*}(\mathrm{892})^{0}$ and $p_{\rm T}$ = 16 GeV/$c$ for $\mathrm{\phi(1020)}$. The $p_{\rm T}$ -integrated yields and mean transverse momenta are reported and compared with previous results in pp, p-Pb and Pb-Pb collisions. The $x_{\mathrm{T}}$ scaling for $\mathrm{K}^{*}(\mathrm{892})^{0}$ and $\mathrm{\phi(1020)}$ resonance production is newly tested in p-Pb collisions and found to hold in the high-$p_{\rm T}$ region at LHC energies. The nuclear modification factors ($R_{\rm pPb}$) as a function of $p_{\rm T}$ for $\mathrm{K}^{*0}$ and $\mathrm{\phi}$ at $\sqrt{s_{NN}}$ = 8.16 TeV are presented along with the new $R_{\rm pPb}$ measurements of $\mathrm{K}^{*0}$, $\mathrm{\phi}$ , $\Xi$, and $\Omega$ at $\sqrt{s_{\rm NN}}$ = 5.02 TeV. At intermediate $p_{\rm T}$ (2-8 GeV/$c$), $R_{\rm pPb}$ of $\Xi$, $\Omega$ show a Cronin-like enhancement, while $\mathrm{K}^{*0}$ and $\mathrm{\phi}$ show no or little nuclear modification. At high $p_{\rm T}$ ($>$ 8 GeV/$c$), the $R_{\rm pPb}$ values of all hadrons are consistent with unity within uncertainties. The $R_{\rm pPb}$ of $\mathrm{K}^{*}(\mathrm{892})^{0}$ and $\mathrm{\phi(1020)}$ at $\sqrt{s_{\rm NN}}$ = 8.16 and 5.02 TeV show no significant energy dependence.
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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 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.

The upgraded ALICE Miniframe was reinstalled in the experimental cavern in November