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ALICE (A Large Ion Collider Experiment) is a general-purpose, heavy-ion detector at the CERN LHC which focuses on QCD, the strong-interaction sector of the Standard Model. It is designed to address the physics of strongly interacting matter and the quark-gluon plasma at extreme values of energy density and temperature in nucleus-nucleus collisions. Besides running with Pb ions, the physics programme includes collisions with lighter ions, lower energy running and dedicated proton-nucleus runs. ALICE will also take data with proton beams at the top LHC energy to collect reference data for the heavy-ion programme and to address several QCD topics for which ALICE is complementary to the other LHC detectors. The ALICE detector has been built by a collaboration including currently over 1000 physicists and engineers from 105 Institutes in 30 ...
Charged-particle production was studied in proton-proton collisions collected at the LHC with the ALICE detector at centre-of-mass energies 0.9 TeV and 2.36 TeV in the pseudorapidity range |eta| < 1.4. In the central region (|eta| < 0.5), at 0.9 TeV, we measure charged-particle pseudorapidity density dNch/deta = 3.02 +- 0.01 (stat.) +0.08 -0.05 (syst.) for inelastic interactions, and dNch/deta = 3.58 +- 0.01 (stat.) +0.12 -0.12 (syst.) for non-single-diffractive interactions. At 2.36 TeV, we find dNch/deta = 3.77 +- 0.01 (stat.) +0.25 -0.12 (syst.) for inelastic, and dNch/deta = 4.43 +- 0.01 (stat.) +0.17 -0.12 (syst.) for non-single-diffractive collisions. The relative increase in charged-particle multiplicity from the lower to higher energy is 24.7% +- 0.5% (stat.) +5.7% -2.8% (syst.) for inelastic and 23.7% +- 0.5% (stat.) +4.6% -1....
We report on the high statistics two-pion correlation functions from pp collisions at sqrt{s}=0.9 TeV and sqrt{s}=7 TeV, measured by the ALICE experiment at the Large Hadron Collider. The correlation functions as well as the extracted source radii scale with event multiplicity and pair momentum. When analyzed in the same multiplicity and pair transverse momentum range, the correlation is similar at the two collision energies. A three-dimensional femtoscopic analysis shows an increase of the emission zone with increasing event multiplicity as well as decreasing homogeneity lengths with increasing transverse momentum. The latter trend gets more pronounced as multiplicity increases. This suggests the development of space-momentum correlations, at least for collisions producing a high multiplicity of particles. We consider these trends in ...
The production of pi+, pi-, K+, K-, p, and pbar at mid-rapidity has been measured in proton-proton collisions at sqrt(s) = 900 GeV with the ALICE detector. Particle identification is performed using the specific energy loss in the inner tracking silicon detector and the time projection chamber. In addition, time-of-flight information is used to identify hadrons at higher momenta. Finally, the distinctive kink topology of the weak decay of charged kaons is used for an alternative measurement of the kaon transverse momentum (pt) spectra. Since these various particle identification tools give the best separation capabilities over different momentum ranges, the results are combined to extract spectra from pt = 100 MeV/c to 2.5 GeV/c. The measured spectra are further compared with QCD-inspired models which yield a poor description. The tota...
The production of mesons containing strange quarks ($\Kzs$, $\phi$) and both singly and doubly strange baryons ($\rmLambda$, $\rmAlambda$, and $\Xis$) are measured at central rapidity in pp collisions at $\sqrt{s}$ = 0.9 $\tev$ with the ALICE experiment at the LHC. The results are obtained from the analysis of about 250 k minimum bias events recorded in 2009. Measurements of yields (dN/dy) and transverse momentum spectra at central rapidities for inelastic pp collisions are presented. For mesons, we report yields ($< \dNdy >$) of $0.184 \pm 0.002 \stat \pm 0.006 \syst$ for $\Kzs$ and $0.021 \pm 0.004 \stat \pm 0.003 \syst$ for $\phi$. For baryons, we find $< \dNdy > = 0.048 \pm 0.001 \stat \pm 0.004 \syst$ for $\rmLambda$, $0.047 \pm 0.002 \stat \pm 0.005 \syst$ for $\rmAlambda$ and $0.0101 \pm 0.0020 \stat \pm 0.0009 \syst$ for $\Xis$...
Inclusive transverse momentum spectra of primary charged particles in Pb-Pb collisions at $\sqrt{s_{_{NN}}}$ = 2.76 TeV have been measured by the ALICE Collaboration at the LHC. The data are presented for central and peripheral collisions, corresponding to 0-5% and 70-80% of the hadronic Pb-Pb cross section. The measured charged particle spectra in $|\eta|<0.8$ and $0.3 < p_T < 20$ GeV/$c$ are compared to the expectation in pp collisions at the same $\sqrt{s_{_{NN}}}$, scaled by the number of underlying nucleon-nucleon collisions. The comparison is expressed in terms of the nuclear modification factor $R_{AA}$. The result indicates only weak medium effects ($R_{AA} \approx $ 0.7) in peripheral collisions. In central collisions, $R_{AA}$ reaches a minimum of about 0.14 at $p_T=6$-7GeV/$c$ and increases significantly at larger $p_T$. The...
The first measurement of the charged-particle multiplicity density at mid-rapidity in Pb-Pb collisions at a centre-of-mass energy per nucleon pair sqrt(sNN) = 2.76 TeV is presented. For an event sample corresponding to the most central 5% of the hadronic cross section the pseudo-rapidity density of primary charged particles at mid-rapidity is 1584 +- 4 (stat) +- 76 (sys.), which corresponds to 8.3 +- 0.4 (sys.) per participating nucleon pair. This represents an increase of about a factor 1.9 relative to pp collisions at similar collision energies, and about a factor 2.2 to central Au-Au collisions at sqrt(sNN) = 0.2 TeV. This measurement provides the first experimental constraint for models of nucleus-nucleus collisions at LHC energies.
The pseudorapidity density and multiplicity distribution of charged particles produced in proton-proton collisions at the LHC, at a centre-of-mass energy sqrt(s) = 7 TeV, were measured in the central pseudorapidity region |eta| < 1. Comparisons are made with previous measurements at sqrt(s) = 0.9 TeV and 2.36 TeV. At sqrt(s) = 7 TeV, for events with at least one charged particle in |eta| < 1, we obtain dNch/deta = 6.01 +- 0.01 (stat.) +0.20 -0.12 (syst.). This corresponds to an increase of 57.6% +- 0.4% (stat.) +3.6 -1.8% (syst.) relative to collisions at 0.9 TeV, significantly higher than calculations from commonly used models. The multiplicity distribution at 7 TeV is described fairly well by the negative binomial distribution.