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Exploring the performance limits of the ALICE Time Projection Chamber and Transition Radiation Detector for measuring identified hadron production at the LHC

Lu, Xianguo

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The Time Projection Chamber (TPC) and Transition Radiation Detector (TRD) are the main tracking and particle identification devices in the ALICE experiment at the CERN LHC. This thesis studies aspects of their performance beyond the original designs. This includes extending the TPC momentum measurement for cosmic rays to sub-TeV scale, investigating a robust identification method for electrons and hadrons by the TRD, and developing new approaches to characterize the TPC and TRD signals. These studies lead to an intriguing observation of the transition radiation from sub-TeV cosmic muons, and a universal method -- the TPC coherent fit -- to extract yields of different particle species with momentum from 0.5 to above 20 GeV/c.

With the TPC coherent fit, transverse momentum spectra (0.6 < pt < 20 GeV/c) of pions, kaons and protons at mid-rapidity (|y|<~0.8) in pp collisions at sqrt(s) = 2.76 and 7 TeV and Pb-Pb collisions at sqrt(s_NN) = 2.76 TeV at the LHC are measured. In this unified approach both the anomalous enhancement of the proton-to-pion ratio at moderate pt (2-8 GeV/c) (the so-called baryon anomaly) and the nuclear modification of particle yields up to high pt (> 10 GeV/c) in Pb-Pb collisions are observed. The particle production is also studied in jets from pp collisions at 7 TeV and the results are well described by Perugia-0 tune of PYTHIA6.

Document type: Dissertation
Supervisor: Stachel, Prof. Dr. Johanna
Date of thesis defense: 22 October 2013
Date Deposited: 04 Nov 2013 12:30
Date: 2013
Faculties / Institutes: The Faculty of Physics and Astronomy > Institute of Physics
DDC-classification: 530 Physics
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