We are ending 2015 with an ALICE week, which is a perfect opportunity to look back at all what we have done in this year. It is really impressive! The first year of Run 2 has been very satisfactory: after a very intense and effective preparation, ALICE has been able to take excellent data with high efficiency and stability, including its new detectors and triggers.
Thanks to the meticulous care of the P2 crew and the efforts of all of the detector and online system teams, ALICE has collected essentially all the data we had planned to take in the proton runs at 13 and 5 TeV and in the lead run. In the meantime, we have continued to harvest physics results from Run 1, with 23 papers submitted this year, and several more coming. We also started analysing the Run 2 data, with our first publications already coming up. The ALICE Grid has almost doubled number of jobs, and keeps working beautifully. At the same time, the preparation of the upgrade has passed major milestones: all five of the upgrade technical design reports have successfully gone through the approval steps, the research and development are largely finished and we are entering the production phase.
2016 comes with many challenges, and the agenda for the winter shutdown is densely packed with preparations, while we rush preparing the analysis of this year’s data. The new year will be as tough as the one finishing, but we know we can do it!
25 years ago, on December 13th 1990, what was to become ALICE held its first meeting. The Heavy Ion Proto Collaboration (that was its name) was a small group of physicists and we had no idea how many people’s time and effort were going to be needed to accomplish the project. Looking back, we can be really proud: ALICE has already produced a major scientific output, and so much more is in the making!
First pages of the minutes of the first meeting of the Heavy Ion Proto Collaboration, held 25 years ago (13 December 1990).
A little break for the festivities is well deserved. We will need plenty of energy in the new year.
My best wishes for a great 2016 to all of you and to your loved ones,