Non prompt D-meson measurements with ALICE at the LHC
Dipartimento Interateneo di Fisica ‘M.Merlin’ and Sezione INFN, Bari, Italy
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Published online: 25 November 2016
The production of hadrons with open heavy flavour (charm and beauty) in high-energy nucleus-nucleus collisions is a powerful tool to study the properties of the deconfined phase of strongly interacting matter known as the Quark-Gluon Plasma (QGP). The production of charm and beauty quarks occurs in hard partonic scattering processes in the early stage of the collisions. ALICE is the LHC experiment devoted to the study of heavy-ion physics. It is able to reconstruct charmed mesons in exclusive decays (e.g. D0→K−π+) and beauty hadrons in semi-inclusive decays (e.g. B→eX, B→J/ψ X) . At LHC energies a significant component of the inclusive D-meson yield originates from the decay of beauty-flavoured hadrons, whose knowledge is essential to determine the production of prompt D mesons coming from charm quarks. A precise determination of the non-prompt fraction combined with the determination of the inclusive D-meson yield would allow a measurement of beauty production. A data-driven method that exploits the different shapes of the distributions of the transverse-plane impact parameter to the primary vertex of prompt and feed-down D mesons in p-Pb collisions is used in ALICE. An alternative approach based on the D-meson decay length for Pb–Pb collisions is under study.
© The Authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2016
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