Identified charged hadron production in Pb-Pb collisions at TeV with the ALICE experiment at the LHC
CERN - The European Organization for Nuclear Research, Geneva, Switzerland
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Revised: 6 August 2015
Accepted: 6 August 2015
Published online: 5 October 2015
Quark Gluon Plasma (QGP) is an unavoidable consequence of Quantum Chromodynamics (QCD). High-energy heavy-ion collisions offer the unique possibility to reproduce in the laboratory the conditions expected during the very first stages of the evolution of the Universe. The ALICE (A Large Ion Collider Experiment) experiment at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) allows the study of the dense nuclear environment created in nucleus-nucleus collisions. Particle Identification (PID) is one of the key features of the ALICE experiment. Identified particle spectra represent a crucial tool to understand the behaviour of the matter created in high-energy heavy-ion collisions. The transverse momentum p T distributions of identified hadrons contain information about the transverse expansion of the system and constrain the freeze-out properties of the system. Hydrodynamic models have proved to be very successful reproducing a large number of features of heavy-ion collisions (e.g., particle p T distributions, radial flow, elliptic flow, Hanbury Brown-Twiss correlations, ...). The measurement of the p T distributions of identified π, K and p in Pb-Pb collisions at TeV is presented and discussed in terms of hydrodynamics. The V0 detector allows the selection of events based on the eccentricity of the collision (related with the initial geometry). This makes possible the study of the correlation between the p T distribution of hadrons and elliptic flow on an event-by-event basis. Hadron abundances can be obtained from the principle of maximum entropy using statistical concepts. This allows the extrapolation of the chemical freeze-out parameters from the data. Over the last years it has been proved that the chemical freeze-out temperature T ch is connected with the phase transition temperature T C . The measurements of the freeze-out parameters at the LHC energies are described in detail and the results obtained by various groups at lower energies are extended with the inclusion of the LHC measurement. The LHC measurements cast a new light upon the hydrodynamic and thermal behaviour of the hadron production in heavy-ion collisions. The possible scenarios are described and commented.
© Società Italiana di Fisica and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg, 2015