by Marielle Chartier. Published: 14 October 2013

The University of Liverpool joined the ALICE collaboration in July 2013. The group is at the moment formed of four scientists: the team leader, Marielle Chartier (Reader at the University), two postdoctoral research assistants, Marcel Figueredo and Rossella Romita (who joined the Liverpool Nuclear Physics group within the last year) and Jaime Norman, who just started his PhD.

The research interests of the group are in the heavy flavour sector, in particular in the open charm, and in the upgrade of the Inner Tracking System, that is foreseen in 2018-19 and will improve drastically the measurements of the heavy flavours.

The charm quarks are well-suited probes for the QGP: they are formed in the very early stage of the heavy-ion collision and propagate in the hot and dense matter before they aggregate to form hadrons. They experience the whole heavy-ion collision history and are therefore valuable probes of the Quark Gluon Plasma and its evolution. In particular, we aim at measuring the production cross section of the charmed baryon Λc. A measurement of the azimuthal anisotropy of the charm hadrons production and their elliptic flow (v2) will give information on the charm thermalization in the medium. The measurement of charm baryon Λc yield relative to D mesons in A-A collisions would provide important information about the hadronization mechanism. In addition, the Λc has never been observed in A-A collisions.

The University of Liverpool is listed among the first five top centres for research, knowledge and innovation in the UK. In terms of facilities it is well renowned in the area of computing and hardware construction, in particular for its Liverpool Semi-conductor Detector Centre (LSDC) and workshop where silicon detectors for large-scale nuclear and particle physics experiments have been built (e.g. the VELO of LHCb, the Tracker end-cap of ATLAS, both for the LHC, the Tracker for ALPHA at CERN and the R3B Silicon Tracker for FAIR/NuSTAR). Liverpool plans to undertake the construction of (parts of) the new ITS, using Monolithic Active Pixel sensor technology which STFC Daresbury and Rutherford laboratories have been contributing to develop in the last few years within the ALICE collaboration. The University of Liverpool LSDC is foreseen as one of the major centres for the construction of this detector. Linking the hardware construction with the physics, the ALICE group in Liverpool aims to grow fast and make a strong impact both in the UK and the international ALICE community.

Contact: Marielle Chartier