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Characterisation of a novel state of matter: The Quark-Gluon Plasma (QGP)
Start date: 01 Sep 2008, End date: 31 Aug 2013 PROJECT  FINISHED 

I propose to explore the properties of a novel state of matter, the Quark-Gluon Plasma (QGP), created by colliding atomic nuclei at the highest energy ever reached using triggered particle correlations. The QGP is predicted by the fundamental theory of strong interactions and is characterized by an equilibrated system of free quarks and gluons that are the constituents of atomic nuclei. My investigation of the QGP properties will give unique insights into the development of the early universe and the properties of matter under extreme conditions. Among other results, particle correlation measurements have revealed first compelling evidence for the existence of the QGP state. Due to the limited sensitivity of the used probes, the conclusions are to some extent qualitative rather than quantitative. To get a deeper understanding of the mechanisms at work I propose to study heavy-quark correlations and their in-medium modification in collisions of heavy nuclei by combining the information from different detection systems. I have verified the feasibility of this measurement at lower energies. I am currently one of the world’s experts in measuring heavy-quark correlations and I propose to perform such a measurement at the forefront particle accelerator, the Large Hadron Collider, located at the European Laboratory for Particle Physics CERN. My investigation will be done utilizing the dedicated ALICE (A Large Ion Collider Experiment) detector, which is most suited for measurements in heavy-ion collisions. I would like to do my project with one Postdoc and one Ph.D. student during a period of five years. My research team will be embedded in one of the leading institutes in the field of heavy-ion physics which provided a crucial hardware component to the ALICE experiment. My expertise and the outstanding working environment will guarantee high quality in performing my key measurement. The ALICE experiment will be the place of new discoveries.
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