Welcome to the ALICE collaboration

Our mission

Welcome to the ALICE website

The ALICE Collaboration has built a dedicated detector to exploit the unique physics potential of nucleus-nucleus collisions at LHC energies. Our aim is to study the physics of strongly interacting matter at the highest energy densities reached so far in the laboratory. In such condition, 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. The properties of such a phase are key issues for quantum chromodynamics, the understanding of confinement-deconfinement and chiral phase transitions. For this purpose, we are carrying out a comprehensive study of the hadrons, electrons, muons and photons produced in the collisions of heavy nuclei. ALICE is also studying proton-proton and proton-nucleus collisions both as a comparison with nucleus-nucleus collisions and in their own right.

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.


Latest ALICE Submissions

Inclusive heavy-flavour production at central and forward rapidity in Xe-Xe collisions at $\sqrt{s_{\rm NN}}=5.44$ TeVThe first measurements of the production of muons and electrons from heavy-flavour hadron decays in Xe-Xe collisions at $\sqrt{s_{\rm NN}}$ = 5.44 TeV, using the ALICE detector at the LHC, are reported. The measurement of the nuclear modification factor $R_{\rm AA}$ is performed as a function of transverse momentum $p_{\rm T}$ in several centrality classes at forward rapidity ($2.5 < ~ y < ~4$) and midrapidity ($\vert y \vert < ~ 0.8$) for muons and electrons from heavy-flavour hadron decays, respectively. A suppression by a factor up to about 2.5 compared to the binary-scaled pp reference is observed in central collisions at both central and forward rapidities. The $R_{\rm AA}$ of muons from heavy-flavour hadron decays is compared to previous measurements in Pb-Pb collisions at $\sqrt{s_{\rm NN}}$ = 5.02 TeV. A similar suppression, with $R_{\rm AA} \sim 0.4$ in the $p_{\rm T}$ interval $4 < ~ p_{\rm T} < ~ 8$ GeV/$c$, is observed in Pb-Pb and Xe-Xe collisions when the nuclear modification factors are compared in event classes with similar charged-particle multiplicity density. The comparison of the measured $R_{\rm AA}$ values in the two collision systems brings new insights on the properties of the quark-gluon plasma by investigating the system-size and path-length dependence of medium-induced parton energy loss. The results of muons and electrons from heavy-flavour hadron decays provide new constraints to model calculations.
Production of muons from heavy-flavour hadron decays at high transverse momentum in Pb-Pb collisions at $\sqrt{s_{\rm NN}}=5.02$ and 2.76 TeVMeasurements of the production of muons from heavy-flavour hadron decays in Pb$-$Pb collisions at $\sqrt{s_{\rm NN}}$ = $5.02$ and $2.76$ TeV using the ALICE detector at the LHC are reported. The nuclear modification factor $R_{\rm AA}$ at $\sqrt{s_{\rm NN}}$ = 5.02 TeV is measured at forward rapidity ($2.5 < ~ y < ~4$) as a function of transverse momentum $p_{\rm T}$ in central, semi-central, and peripheral collisions over a wide $p_{\rm T}$ interval, $3 < ~ p_{\rm T} < ~ 20$ GeV/$c$, in which a significant contribution of muons from beauty-hadron decays is expected at high $p_{\rm T}$. With a significantly improved precision compared to the measurements at lower collision energy, the $R_{\rm AA}$ shows an increase of the suppression of the yields of muons from heavy-flavour hadron decays with increasing centrality. A suppression by a factor of about three is observed in the $10\%$ most central collisions. The $R_{\rm AA}$ at $\sqrt{s_{\rm NN}}$ = 5.02 is similar to that reported at 2.76 TeV in a broader $p_{\rm T}$ interval and with an improved accuracy with respect to previously published measurements. The precise $R_{\rm AA}$ results have the potential to distinguish between model predictions implementing different mechanisms of parton energy loss in the high-density medium formed in heavy-ion collisions. The results place stringent constraints on the relative energy loss between charm and beauty quarks.
Jet fragmentation transverse momentum distributions in pp and p-Pb collisions at $\sqrt{s_{\rm NN}}$ = 5.02 TeVJet fragmentation transverse momentum ($j_{\rm T}$) distributions are measured in proton-proton (pp) and proton-lead (p-Pb) collisions at $\sqrt{s_{\rm NN}}$ = 5.02 TeV with the ALICE experiment at the LHC. Jets are reconstructed with the ALICE tracking detectors and electromagnetic calorimeter using the anti-$k_{\rm T}$ algorithm with resolution parameter $R=0.4$ in the pseudorapidity range $|\eta| < ~0.25$. The $j_{\rm T}$ values are calculated for charged particles inside a fixed cone with a radius $R = 0.4$ around the reconstructed jet axis. The measured $j_{\rm T}$ distributions are compared with a variety of parton-shower models. Herwig and PYTHIA 8 based models describe the data well for the higher $j_{\rm T}$ region, while they underestimate the lower $j_{\rm T}$ region. The $j_{\rm T}$ distributions are further characterised by fitting them with a function composed of an inverse gamma function for higher $j_{\rm T}$ values (called the "wide component"), related to the perturbative component of the fragmentation process, and with a Gaussian for lower $j_{\rm T}$ values (called the "narrow component"), predominantly connected to the hadronisation process. The width of the Gaussian has only a weak dependence on jet transverse momentum, while that of the inverse gamma function increases with increasing jet transverse momentum. For the narrow component, the measured trends are successfully described by all models except for Herwig. For the wide component, Herwig and PYTHIA 8 based models slightly underestimate the data for the higher jet transverse momentum region. These measurements set constraints on models of jet fragmentation and hadronisation.
$Υ$ production and nuclear modification at forward rapidity in Pb-Pb collisions at $\mathbf{\sqrt{\textit{s}_{\textbf{NN}}}=5.02}$ TeVThe production of $\Upsilon$ mesons in Pb-Pb collisions at a centre-of-mass energy per nucleon pair $\sqrt{s_{\rm NN}}$ = 5 TeV is measured with the muon spectrometer of ALICE at the LHC. The yields as well as the nuclear modification factors are determined in the forward rapidity region $2.5 < ~y < ~4.0$, as a function of rapidity, transverse momentum and collision centrality. The results show that the production of $\Upsilon$(1S) is suppressed by a factor of about three with respect to the production in proton-proton collisions. For the first time, a significant $\Upsilon$(2S) signal is observed at forward rapidity, indicating a suppression stronger by about a factor 2-3 with respect to the ground state. The measurements are compared with transport, hydrodynamic, comover and statistical hadronisation model calculations.
$\mathrm{Λ_{c}^{+}}$ production in pp and in p-Pb collisions at $\sqrt{s_{\rm {NN}}} = 5.02$ TeVThe production cross section of prompt $\mathrm{\Lambda_{c}^{+}}$ charmed baryons was measured with the ALICE detector at the LHC at midrapidity in proton-proton (pp) and proton-lead (p-Pb) collisions at a centre-of-mass energy per nucleon pair of $\sqrt{s_\mathrm{NN}} = 5.02$ TeV. The $\mathrm{\Lambda_{c}^{+}}$ and $\rm {\overline{\Lambda}{}_c^-}$ baryons were reconstructed in the hadronic decay channels $\rm \Lambda_{c}^{+} \rightarrow p K^{-}\pi^{+}$ and $\rm \Lambda_{c}^{+}\to p K^{0}_{S}$ and respective charge conjugates. The measured differential cross sections as a function of transverse momentum ($p_{\rm T}$) and the $p_{\rm T}$-integrated $\mathrm{\Lambda_{c}^{+}}$ production cross section in pp and in p-Pb collisions are presented. The $\mathrm{\Lambda_{c}^{+}}$ nuclear modification factor ($R_\mathrm{pPb}$), calculated from the cross sections in pp and in p-Pb collisions, is presented and compared with the $R_\mathrm{pPb}$ of D mesons. The $\mathrm {\Lambda_{c}^{+}}/\mathrm {D^0}$ ratio is also presented and compared with the light-flavour baryon-to-meson ratios p$/\pi$ and $\Lambda /\mathrm {K^0_S}$, and measurements from other LHC experiments. The results are compared to predictions from model calculations and Monte Carlo event generators.
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