by Jurgen Schukraft, Yves Schutz, Gergely Gábor Barnaföldi. Published: 28 February 2016

As a first ALICE-related event in 2016, the workshop on QCD challenges at the LHC from pp to AA has been organized by our Mexican colleagues (Eleazar Cuautle, Antonio Ortiz, Guy Paić, Genaro Toledo and Peter Hess) in Mexico in the picturesque city of Taxco, one of the so-called magic towns famous for its silver mining and artisanship. The wide range of scientific backgrounds of the organizers reflects a good mixture of experience and knowledge which keeps the Mexican group at the forefront of the search for new ways of analyzing and interpreting the recent results.  

From left to right: Antonio Ortiz, Guy Paic and Eleazar Cuautle. 

The Workshop focused on the discussion of the small collision systems, the lightest studied at LHC, the proton-proton collisions. These have gained in prominence and attracted the attention of the heavy-ion community since the discovery of collective-like phenomena. Recent results from the ALICE Collaboration were presented during the workshop and they were nicely complemented with discussions about theoretical explanations (hydrodynamics and others like colour-reconnection) and their possible role in heavy-ion collisions.   

Jurgen Schukraft delivering his very interesting talk

The workshop atmosphere and the reduced assistance permitted to get the root of problems, which are numerous, as we know. A good assembly of theoretical physicists mostly from outside ALICE like Michal Praszalowicz, Christian Bierlich, and Genaro Toledo, together with the ALICE experimentalists, arguing vividly in a constructive atmosphere, which gave a special tone to the meeting. Of course, the excellent Mexican food and local mind-opener drinks accompanied the informal discussions all around the clock. Many participants voiced the wish that such a "soul searching" experience be organized more frequently, since well addressed  and focused meetings are  the golden, or at least silver, way to focus  on the most important aspects of our forthcoming investigations.