ALICE WEEK - A word from the spokesperson
Paolo Giubellino - Spokesperson for ALICE
At the end of last month we had a most interesting ALICE week! If you did not get a chance to be here, do take the time to browse through the many talks we had in the various sessions. They are a real gold mine!
First of all, regarding the Upgrades we have submitted to the LHCC in March a general strategy document and Conceptual Design Report for the ITS. We got back many questions that we have been systematically attacking since then. A second round of meetings with the LHCC has just taken place, and the committee has appreciated the major progress we have made in the meantime, both in the definition of the physics case and in the development of the hardware implementation projects. In between the two meetings with the LHCC, we also presented our plans to the Resource Review Board, where all funding agencies supporting ALICE are represented. At this meeting our plans were very well received, and several FA expressed openly their support. The next targets are the next meeting with the LHCC referees on July 24th and the submission of the Letter of Intent by September. Since events progress very rapidly, we have collected all relevant information (talks, documents, meetings) in one webpage reachable with a button on the main ALICE page (you can also reach it directly via https://aliceinfo.cern.ch/secure/node/22004 remember to log in). Stay tuned, and send comments!!
Physics is giving us great results! We have presented a wealth of new results at Hard Probes, some of which are really breaking new grounds, from the first measurement of the broadening of the near-side jet to the flow of the J/psi, the measurement of flow of D mesons and the ratio of the RAA of Charm and of light mesons, RAA for identified particles at high-pT and many more. I think we should all be proud of these results, and congratulate those who worked so hard to have them ready and understood in this short time. The future looks even better, with the preparation of the results for Quark Matter advancing rapidly. Apart from HP and QM, ALICE is having a huge impact on conferences: already 128 talks so far this year, and many more upcoming. Please remember to look on the list of conferences on our website. If one interests you, manifest your interest to the PWG or Project you are involved in, or to the Conference Committee directly for the general talks.
We are also accelerating with the rate of publications on journals: we have submitted 14 since the beginning of the year, and we expect more in the second semester. Journal publications are the final “product” of an experiment, so this should be always our highest priority, both in terms of ensuring their quality but also in terms of making our new results ready for a journal!
In the fall, we will have the first run with pA collisions we are venturing into uncharted territory, and therefore the first results will be of great importance. To make sure we will be ready for a fast and effective analysis, Physics Coordination is now organizing an open task force, which will be led by C. Cheskov (for the first period together with A. Toia). This will be a most exciting enterprise, and volunteers are welcome to join!
In the meantime, the pp run proceeds through a lot of hardships due to the high level of background given by the very intense beam coupled with unsatisfactory vacuum conditions. It is clear that a solution to the vacuum problem will only be possible during the Long Shutdown, so the team at P2 has been working very hard to allow ALICE to still make good use of these very unfavourable conditions. The detector teams work to allow using detectors with increasingly high loads, the trigger group has been fighting to improve trigger selectivity and QA and Offline have been checking the data to make sure we will be able to use them for physics.
The traditional BBQ at ALICE P2
Last, but not least, some news about the collaboration. We have two new associate member institutes, BARC of India and ASRT of Egypt: since the beginning of the year we have had a continuous flux of new institutes, often related to the upgrade program, and this is a tangible proof that the ALICE program is very attractive for both physics and technology. Two new members have been elected in the Conference Committee: Toru Sugitate and Paolo Martinengo (replacing L. Musa), one new member in the Editorial Board: Hideki Hamagaki. At the Collaboration Board, we also had a presentation by Julie of the ALICE Graphic Charter, including templates for presentations, stationery and so on, to ensure a uniform and recognizable aspect to all ALICE documents and images. The templates will be made available to all within a few days.
So, very many things are happening in the collaboration, and the results are great! Let me conclude with an important decision that the Collaboration Board has taken on Friday: the Junior Members of the collaboration (students and anyone less than 5 years after their PhD) are invited to organize themselves and elect three representatives who will from now on participate in the meetings of the Collaboration Board, to make sure there is a better exchange of information between the experiment's management and its junior members and that they have a channel to voice their point of view on the decisions of the Collaboration. As the ex-officio members of the Collaboration Board (like myself, the CB chair and so on), they will participate in all discussions, while the voting rights will remain with the representatives of the Institutes as foreseen by the constitution. So, we very much welcome a more direct involvement of our younger members, who are the backbone and the most vital part of the experiment, in all aspects of the Collaboration's life.
I wish to all a great (and busy!) summer, Paolo