Alice Collaboration - Presentation
ALICE is the acronym for A Large Ion Collider Experiment, one of the largest experiments in the world devoted to research in the physics of matter at an infinitely small scale. Hosted at CERN, the European Laboratory for Nuclear Research, this project involves an international collaboration of more than 1000 physicists, engineers and technicians, including around 200 graduate students, from 105 physics institutes in 30 countries across the world. The ALICE Experiment is going in search of answers to fundamental questions, using the extraordinary tools provided by the LHC:
- What happens to matter when it is heated to 100,000 times the temperature at the centre of the Sun?
- Why do protons and neutrons weigh 100 times more than the quarks they are made of?
- Can the quarks inside the protons and neutrons be freed?
The ALICE Collaboration has built a dedicated heavy-ion detector to exploit the unique physics potential of nucleus-nucleus interactions at LHC energies. Our aim is to study the physics of strongly interacting matter at extreme energy densities, where the formation of a new phase of matter, the quark-gluon plasma, is expected. The existence of such a phase and its properties are key issues in QCD for the understanding of confinement and of chiral-symmetry restoration. For this purpose, we are carrying out a comprehensive study of the hadrons, electrons, muons and photons produced in the collision of heavy nuclei. Alice is also studying proton-proton collisions both as a comparison with lead-lead collisions and in physics areas where Alice is competitive with other LHC experiments.