Open heavy-flavour measurements with ALICE at the LHC
Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare, Sezione di Bari - Via E. Orabona 4, 70125 Bari,
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Published online: 14 November 2018
Heavy quarks are produced in the early stages of ultra-relativistic heavy-ion collisions, and their number is preserved throughout the subsequent evolution of the system. Therefore, they constitute ideal probes for characterising the Quark-Gluon Plasma (QGP) medium and for the study of its transport properties. In particular, heavy quarks interact with the partonic constituents of the plasma, losing energy, and are expected to be sensitive to the medium collective motion induced by its hydrodynamical evolution. In pp collisions, the measurement of heavy-flavour hadron production provides a reference for heavyion studies, and allows also testing perturbative QCD calculations in a wide range of collision energies. Similar studies in p-Pb collisions help in disentangling cold nuclear matter effects from modifications induced by the presence of a QGP medium, and are also useful to investigate the possible existence of collective phenomena also in this system. The ALICE detector provides excellent performances in terms of particle identification and vertexing capabilities. Hence, it is fully suited for the reconstruction of charmed mesons and baryons and of electrons from heavy-flavour hadron decays at central rapidity. Furthermore, the ALICE muon spectrometer allows reconstructing heavy-flavour decay muons at forward rapidity. A review of the main ALICE results on open heavy flavour production in pp, p-Pb and Pb-Pb collisions is presented. Recent, more differential measurements are also shown, including azimuthal correlations of heavy-flavour particles with charged hadrons in p-Pb collisions, and D-meson tagged-jet production in p-Pb and Pb-Pb collisions.
© The Authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2018
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