Bachelors and Masters projects are integrated into the overarching physics programme of the ALICE group, and contribute towards our goal of understanding the system created in pp, p-Pb, and Pb-Pb collisions. Some example projects are listed below, but we are happy to discuss other ideas based on the interests of the student and the supervisor as well as the current activities of the ALICE group.
If you choose to do a project in the ALICE group we will provide you with a laptop (linux), real data from the ALICE experiment, and software to analyse the data (ROOT/C++).
Examples of projects that can be done in the ALICE group:
Data analysis projects:
The main activity of the group is data analysis and we have projects covering pp, p-Pb and Pb-Pb collisions. Currently most projects are focused on small systems (pp and p-Pb) where we have a collaboration with the Lund theory group (THEP) to understand how physics associated with QGP formation in a large system (Pb-Pb) can also be observed in small systems.
An example of an analysis project could be:
- Studying strangeness production in small systems: ALICE has published in Nature Physics how the production of hadrons containing strange quarks is enhanced compared to non-strange hadrons in small systems, which has traditionally been viewed as a signature of QGP formation. The Lund ALICE group is doing several studies to try to identify the origin of this strangeness enhancement. We also compare ALICE data to the state-of-the-art Angantyr model developed within THEP to understand if the experimental measurements indicate that a QGP is formed in pp collisions, or whether an alternative physics mechanism can explain the data.
On the detector side, the Lund group has been heavily involved in the construction of the Time Projection Chamber (TPC) sub-detector in ALICE. The ALICE TPC is a 90 cubic meter gas detector designed to precisely track the thousands or tens of thousands of individual charged particles produced in a single Pb-Pb collision (see the picture on this page). Currently, the TPC readout is being upgraded from Wire Chambers (MWPCs) to Gas Electron Multiplying foils (GEMs) as part of a big ALICE upgrade during CERN’s Long Shutdown 2 (LS2), 2019-2021. The upgraded detector is fully installed and there will be lots of activity in 2021-2022 to calibrate the detector and optimize its performance.
An example of a detector project could be:
- TPC calibration with laser data: By analyzing the data taken with the TPC laser system it is possible to determine at the sub-millimeter level the distortions caused by imperfections in the electric field and misalignment between the magnetic and the electric field (so called ExB effects). This will in particular be important in Run 3 (2022-2024) where these distortions are expected to be large (of order cm) due to the high luminosity delivered by the upgraded LHC. The ALICE collaboration will rely on the precise calibration of the TPC in order to continue to perform high-quality physics measurements.
For more information about the ALICE collaboration and its detector, see the Web page of the ALICE Experiment.