- Measurements of Quarkonia with the central detecors of ALICE (2008)
- The production of quarkonia, the bound state of an heavy quark with its anti-particle, has for a long time been seen as a key process to understand the properties of nuclear matter in a relativistic heavy-ion collision. This thesis presents studies on the production of quarkonia in heavy-ion collisions at the new Large Hadron collider (LHC). The focus is set on the decay of J/Psi and Upsilon-states into their di-electronic decay channel, measured within the central detectors of the ALICE detector.
- Energy and system size dependence of Xi- and anti-Xi+ production in relativistic heavy-ion collisions at the CERN SPS (2007)
- The strong nuclear force is described by Quantum Chromodynamics (QCD), the parallel field theory to Quantum Electrodynamics (QED) that describes the electromagnetic force. It is propagated by gluons analogously to photons in the electromagnetic force, but unlike photons, which do not carry electric charge, gluons carry color, and they can self-interact. However, as individual quarks have never been observed in nature, it is postulated that the color charge itself is confined, and hence all baryons and mesons must be colorless objects. To study nuclear matter under extreme conditions, it is necessary to create hot and dense nuclear matter in the laboratory. In such conditions the confinement between quarks and gluons is cancelled (deconfinement). This state is characterized with a qusi-free behavior of quarks and gluons. The strange (s) and anti-strange (anti-s) quarks are not contained in the colliding nuclei, but are newly produced and show up in the strange hadrons in the final state. It was suggested that strange particle production is enhanced in the QGP with respect to that in a hadron gas. This enhancement is relative to a collision where a transition to a QGP phase does not take place, such as p+p collisions where the system size is very small. Therefore the energy- and system size dependence is studied to receive a picture about the initial state. In this thesis experimental results on the energy- and system size dependence of Xi hyperon production at the CERN SPS is shown. All measurements were performed with the NA49 detector at the CERN SPS. NA49 took central lead-lead collisions from 20 - 158 AGeV, minimus bias lead-lead collisions at 40 and 158 AGeV, and semi-central silicon-silicon colisions at 158 AGeV. The NA49 experiment features a large acceptance in the forward hemisphere allowing for measurements of Xi rapidity spectra. At the SPS accelerator at CERN Pb+Pb collisions are performed with beam energies to 158 AGeV. The analyzed data sets were taken in the period from 1999 to 2002. The NA49 experiment is a large acceptance hadron spectrometer, which measures charged hadrons in a wide acceptance. The main components are the four TPCs (Time Projection Chamber). The centrality of nucleon-nucleon collisions was done by measuring the not in the collision participating (spectator-) nucleons in the VETO-calorimeter. The study of strangeness is motivated by its role as a signature for the Quark Gluon Plasma. Any enhancement in the yield must be with respect to a ’normal’ yield, where a QGP is not formed. This is usually taken to mean suitably scaled p+p collisions, where the volume of the system created is too small for a QGP to occur. The results at SPS and RHIC energies show an enhancement, with the doubly strange Xi? being enhanced more than the Lambda, in accordance with the original prediction. However, the enhancement at SPS energies is higher than at RHIC energies.
- Gas system, gas quality monitor and detector control of the ALICE Transition Radiation Detector and studies for a pre-trigger data read-out system (2012)
- The main purpose of the Transition Radiation Detector (TRD) located in the central barrel of ALICE (A Large Ion Collider Experiment) is electron identification for separation from pions at momenta pt > 1 GeV/c, since in this momentum range the measurements of the specific energy loss (dE/dx) of the Time Projection Chamber (TPC) is no longer sufficient. Furthermore, it provides a fast trigger for high transverse momentum charged particles (pt > 3 GeV/c) and makes a significant contribution to the optimization of the tracking of reaction products in heavy-ion collisions. Its whole setup comprises 18 supermodules out of which 13 are presently operational and mounted cylindrically around the beam axis of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). A supermodule contains either 30 or 24 chambers, each consisting of a radiator for transition radiation creation, a drift and an amplifying region followed by the read-out electronics. In total, the TRD is an array of 522 chambers operated with about 28 m3 of a Xe-CO2 [85-15%] gas mixture. During the work of this thesis, the testing, commissioning, operation and maintenance of detector parts, the gas system and its online quality monitor, improvements on the detector control user-interface and studies about a new pre-trigger module for data read-out have been accomplished. The TRD gas system mixes, distributes and circulates the operational gas mixture through the detector. Its overall optimization has been achieved by minimizing gas leakage, surveying, controlling, maintaining and continuously improving it as well as designing and carrying out upgrades. Gas quality monitors of the type \GOOFIE" (Gas prOportional cOunter For drIfting Electrons) can be used in gaseous detectors as on-line monitors of the electron drift velocity, gain and gas properties. One of these devices has been implemented within the TRD gas system, while another one surveys the gas of the TPC. Both devices had to be adapted to the specific needs of the detectors, were under constant surveillance and control, and needed to be further developed on both hardware and software side. To improve the operation of the TRD, modifications on its DCS software (Detector Control System) used for monitoring, controlling, operating, regulating and configuring of hardware and computing devices have been carried out. The DCS is designed to enable an operator to interact with equipment through user interfaces that display the information from the system. The main focus of this work was laid on the optimization of the usability and design of the user interface. The front-end electronics of the TRD require an early start signal (\pre-trigger") from the fast forward detectors or the Time-Of-Flight detector during the running periods. The realization of a new hardware concept for the read-out of the TRD pre-trigger system has been studied and first tests were performed. This new module called PIMDDL (Pre-trigger Interface Module Detector Data Link) is meant to acquire all data necessary to simulate and predict the full pre-trigger functionality, and to verify its proper operation. Furthermore, it shall provide all functionalities of the so-called Control Box Bottom as well as keep the functionalities of the already existing PIM (Pre-trigger Interface Module) in order to combine and replace these two modules in the future.
- J/psi Production in √s=7 TeV pp Collisions (2012)
- Quarkonia are very promising probes to study the quark-gluon plasma. The essential baseline for measurements in heavy-ion collisions is high-precision data from proton-proton interactions. However, the basic mechanisms of quarkonium hadroproduction are still being debated. The most common models, the Color-Singlet Model, the non-relativistic QCD approach and the Color-Evaporation Model, are able to describe most of the available cross-section data, despite of their conceptual differences. New measures, such as the polarization, and data at a new energy regime are crucial to test the competing models. Another issue is an eventual interplay between the production process of a quarkonium state and the surrounding pp event. Current Monte Carlo event generators treat the hard scattering independently from the rest of the so-called underlying event. The investigation of possible correlations with the pp event might be very valuable for a detailed understanding of the production processes. ALICE ist the dedicated heavy-ion experiment at the LHC. Its design has been optimized for high-precision measurements in very high track densities and down to low transverse momenta. ALICE is composed of various different detectors at forward and at central rapidities. The most important detectors for this study are the Inner Tracking System and the Time Projection Chamber, allowing to reconstruct and identify electron candidate tracks within eta < 0.9. The Transition Radiation Detector has not been utilized at this stage of the analysis; however, it will strongly improve the particle identification and provide a dedicated trigger in the upcoming beam periods. ...