by Polly Bennett & Federico Antinori. Published: 20 January 2012

The ALICE Physics Working Groups (PWGs) have undergone a restructure for 2012. In order to cope more effectively with physics analysis, Federico Antinori, chairperson of the physics board, explains the shake up.

The amount of activity and physics analysis inside the previous PWGs was just too much. The meetings were exploding and it was not easy to follow up the details of what was being done inside the Physics Working Groups. We previously had four PWGs – one for physics performance and three for different areas of physics analysis. It was necessary to re-organise things to a manageable level. We now have eight: Physics Performance (PP), Light Flavour Spectra (LF), Heavy Flavour (HF), Jets (JE), Correlations, Fluctuations and Bulk (CF), Dileptons and Quarkonia (DQ), Gamma and Pi-zero (GA), and Ultraperipheral, Diffractive, Cosmic and pp First Physics (UD).

The total number of PWG conveners has increased from eight to sixteen: now we have more people on top of various analyses and the amount of physics for each convenor to chew on is less. This allows essentially better control for the entire analysis. Due to the increased manageability we have, in a sense, a higher resolution to pass information to and get feedback from all the people doing physics analysis.

One disadvantage is that there are now more PWG meetings that have to take place in parallel with one another. This is something we were trying to avoid in previous years, but is now unavoidable. We are aiming to make sure the scheduling and the agendas of the new meetings are done in such a way that we mitigate this. On the other hand, there is some bonus in the new schedule: the structure of mini-weeks and ALICE weeks is such that we can have joint sessions bringing together people from two PWGs, which opens up new opportunities for cross-PWG collaboration.