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

A new approach to separate the heavy-flavour contribution experimentally has been employed for the first time at the LHC: Read More
Presenting ALICE experiments highlights of the year 2023: Watch the video!
New ALICE measurements shed light on the dynamics of charm and beauty particles in quark–gluon plasma: Read More

Latest ALICE Submissions

Studying the interaction between charm and light-flavor mesons The two-particle momentum correlation functions between charm mesons ($\mathrm{D^{*\pm}}$ and $\mathrm{D}^\pm$) and charged light-flavor mesons ($\pi^{\pm}$ and K$^{\pm}$) in all charge-combinations are measured for the first time by the ALICE Collaboration in high-multiplicity proton-proton collisions at a center-of-mass energy of $\sqrt{s} =13$ TeV. For $\mathrm{DK}$ and $\mathrm{D^*K}$ pairs, the experimental results are in agreement with theoretical predictions of the residual strong interaction based on quantum chromodynamics calculations on the lattice and chiral effective field theory. In the case of $\mathrm{D}\pi$ and $\mathrm{D^*}\pi$ pairs, tension between the calculations including strong interactions and the measurement is observed. For all particle pairs, the data can be adequately described by Coulomb interaction only, indicating a shallow interaction between charm and light-flavor mesons. Finally, the scattering lengths governing the residual strong interaction of the $\mathrm{D}\pi$ and $\mathrm{D^*}\pi$ systems are determined by fitting the experimental correlation functions with a model that employs a Gaussian potential. The extracted values are small and compatible with zero.
Investigating the nature of the K$^*_0(700)$ state with $π^\pm$K$^0_{\rm S}$ correlations at the LHC The first measurements of femtoscopic correlations with the particle pair combinations $\pi^\pm$K$^0_{\rm S}$ in pp collisions at $\sqrt{s}=13$ TeV at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) are reported by the ALICE experiment. Using the femtoscopic approach, it is shown that it is possible to study the elusive K$^*_0(700)$ particle that has been considered a tetraquark candidate for over forty years. Boson source parameters and final-state interaction parameters are extracted by fitting a model assuming a Gaussian source to the experimentally measured two-particle correlation functions. The final-state interaction is modeled through a resonant scattering amplitude, defined in terms of a mass and a coupling parameter, decaying into a $\pi^\pm$K$^0_{\rm S}$ pair. The extracted mass and Breit-Wigner width, derived from the coupling parameter, of the final-state interaction are found to be consistent with previous measurements of the K$^*_0(700)$. The small value and increasing behavior of the correlation strength with increasing source size support the hypothesis that the K$^*_0(700)$ is a four-quark state, i.e. a tetraquark state. This latter trend is also confirmed via a simple geometric model that assumes a tetraquark structure of the K$^*_0(700)$ resonance.
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.
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.
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.
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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

ALICE Run Manager (19 February - 2 March 2024): Stefano Panebianco .. Read more ...

Calendar of the ALICE Collaboration for the year 2024: Read more

QGP with the highest temperature achieved by ALICE: Read more

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

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