by Panos Charitos. Published: 13 October 2012

The “Nuclear Physics A Young Scientist Award for best experimental talk at Quark Matter 2012” has been awarded to ALICE researcher Martin Wilde for his talk “Measurement of direct photons in pp and Pb-Pb collisions with ALICE” which he gave during the Parallel Session on “Electro-Weak Probes”.

Martin is currently a PhD student in the Wilhems-University of Munster in Germany. In his talk he presented measurements of the inclusive photon and neutral pion spectra via photon conversions in the ALICE setup. More specifically he presented results from analysing direct photon production in pp (at √s = 7 TeV) and Pb-Pb (at √sNN=2,76 TeV) collisions. From the neutral pion yield a decay photon cocktail has been deduced. The signal is obtained by calculating the double ratio (γ/π )/(γ_decay/π0 ). Martin, also discussed certain implications on the search for a direct photon excess at low pt produced in pp and Pb-Pb collisions. New results based on data from the LHC seem to be in agreement with previous results obtained at RHIC.

Martin Wilde, a PhD student in the Wilhems-University of Munster in Germany wins Nuclear Physics A award for Best Experimental Talk

Direct photons are an important probe in diagnosing the highly excited state of nuclear matter created in heavy-ion collisions and allow access to various stages of the collisions including the initial state. The ALICE detector is equipped with two high resolution electromagnetic calorimeters and a central tracking system that make it well suited to study direct photon production at low and intermediate pt. In addition to classical calorimeter measurements the low pt regime can be targeted via the measurement of photon conversion products by the ALICE TPC with high tracking efficiency.

The awards, including one for Best Experimental and one for Best Theoretical talk and aiming to recognise and promote the work of outstanding young nuclear physicists, were presented at the Quark Matter conference in Washington in August. They are both sponsored by the Nuclear Physics A journal which focuses on the domain of nuclear and hadronic physics. For more information about the "Nuclear Physics A" Young Scientist Awards, please visit the Elsevier website