ALICE First "famous" paper

Raimond Snellings

Just before the end of this year the ALICE paper on “Elliptic flow of charged particles in Pb-Pb collisions at 2.76 TeV “ exceeded 250 citations thus becoming the first ALICE “famous” paper!

The paper was submitted to the arXiv a few days after the first data became available and was published in Physical Review Letters on December 2010. This publication received an editor's selection in PRL and was also selected by the American Physical Society for a commentary in Physics, a distinction that APS reserves for its most important papers.

Fig.1 The ALICE first "famous" paper with more than 250 citations published in Physical Review Letters in the end of 2010.

We would like to thank all those who contributed to operating the detector, data taking and fast calibration during these first days of heavy ion collisions. Without this it would not have been possible to perform this analysis as part of the first physics effort. The paper reported the first elliptic flow measurement at the LHC. Elliptic flow is one of the most sensitive observables for the study of the Quark Gluon Plasma.

It was found that the elliptic flow is large at LHC energies (see Fig.2), and that the magnitude was in agreement with predictions from hydrodynamical models using a very small shear viscosity. This indicates that at LHC energies the created system behaves as an almost perfect liquid.

Fig.2 Elliptic flow versus collision energy for charged particles measured in Pb-Pb collisions with ALICE.

The results also showed that we can measure anisotropic flow at the LHC with unprecedented precision. This is important in order to extend the analysis to higher harmonics and measure the correlations of heavy quarks and jets with respect to the reaction plane. Answering the question of the origin of these higher harmonics is currently one of the hottest topics in our field.

With 2012 now coming to an end, we hope that in 2013 we can add a few more ALICE papers to the "famous" list and that the upcoming pA run will help us understand better the surprising properties of the quark gluon plasma.

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