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The charm and the beauty of LHC (hfQGP)
Start date: Jun 1, 2012, End date: Dec 1, 2014 PROJECT  FINISHED 

One of the main goals in the field of high-energy nuclear physics is to understand the behavior of hadrons and their constituents in vacuum and under extreme conditions of temperature and density. Quarks in Nature have never been observed free, but always confined into hadrons by the gluon field; however inelastic electron scattering at high momentum transfer indicates that quarks inside the nucleon behave as point-like non interacting particles.One prediction of QCD is a phase transition from standard nuclear matter to a plasma of free quarks and gluons (Quark Gluon Plasma) at high temperatures and densities. The necessary conditions of high energy density are experimentally realized by heavy ion reactions at ultrarelativistic energies. Among the signatures to study the properties of the QGP, the suppression of hard partons due to energy loss in the medium should provide information on the properties of the medium, and on the interaction between the parton and the medium. Energy loss, expected to increase with parton color-charge and decrease with increasing parton mass, leads to a pattern of gradually decreasing suppression when going from gluon-originated light-flavor hadrons to charm and to beauty mesons is expected. In addition the heavy-flavor hadro-chemistry allows to assess the initial temperature and the degree of thermal equilibration of the partons, which may cause heavy quarks to thermalize and hadronize inside the medium via coalescence with another quark from the medium itself.This project aims to measure beauty and to disentangle it from charm with the ALICE detector at LHC, using the new most sophisticated analysis techniques as well as new detector upgrades. Our objectives combine the experience of the applicant in the heavy-flavor physics gained at lower energy experiment at RHIC and the expertise of the host as a leading institute in the proposed subjects to form and present a coherent picture of the fundamental properties of nuclear matter.

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