Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Physics Division

Physics Division Seminars

Physics Division Seminars bring us speakers on a variety of physics related subjects. Usually these are held in the Building 6008 large Conference Room, at 3:00 pm on the chosen day, but times and locations may vary. For more information, contact our seminar chairman,

Alfredo Galindo-Uribarri
Tel (Office): (865) 574-6124  (FAX): (865) 574-1268


Thu., May 24, 2012, at 3:00 p.m., Refreshments at 2:40 p.m.

The ALICE Experiment at the Large Hadron Collider, Recent Results and Future Plans

Thomas Cormier, Wayne State University
Building 6008, Large Conference Room

The US nuclear physics program has made a significant investment in the relativistic heavy ion program at the Large Hadron Collider. The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at The European Center for Nuclear Research (CERN) produces the highest energy colliding proton and ion beams in the world. Data is now being recorded with colliding beams of protons at a center of mass energy of 8 TeV and Pb+Pb at a center of mass energy of 2.76 TeV per nucleon. For the heavy ion collisions, this represents almost a factor of 14 above the highest energy available in the US at the RHIC facility. Many DOE and NSF nuclear funded university and national laboratory groups participate in the three major LHC experiments that participate in heavy ion running. By far, the largest US nuclear physics participation is in the ALICE experiment. ALICE (A Large Ion Collider Experiment) is the dedicated heavy ion experiment at the LHC studying PbPb and pPb collision to probe the properties of the Quark-Gluon Plasma (QGP). The QGP state, first conclusively demonstrated in RHIC experiments, is a form of, strongly interacting, color-deconfined matter thought to have pervaded the universe for the first micro-second or so after the Big Bang. In the ultra-high energy collisions of large nuclei at RHIC and the LHC, ordinary hadronic matter of neutrons and protons is heated and compressed to melt into “free” constituent quarks and gluons simulating the conditions of the early Universe. Through a variety of experimental observations on the decay products of the expanding and cooling sample of QGP, some of which will be described in this talk, we are able to deduce the properties of QGP matter including some essential features of its equation of state. In this talk, I will discuss a sample of results from ALICE, highlighting differences and similarities with corresponding measurements at the much lower RHIC energy. I will discuss both short and long term plans for LHC running and ALICE detector upgrade planning intended to keep pace with the proposed physics program and developing accelerator capabilities.

Alfredo Galindo-Uribarri 574-6124