Measurement of jet spectra reconstructed with charged particles in Pb-Pb collisions at 5.02 TeV with the ALICE detector at the LHC

Abstract : High-energy nuclear physics aims at revealing the properties of Quark-Gluon Plasma (QGP),a new state of matter consisting of asymptotically free strong-interacting quarks and gluons. According to lattice QCD calculation, a transition from normal nuclear matter to a QGP is expected for energy densities exceeding the critical threshold of Ec ~ 1 GeV/fm3 (Tc ~ 150 - 200 MeV). Such extreme conditions of temperature and energy density are met in laboratory by smashing heavy nuclei at ultrarelativistic energies. The QGP thus created is however so short lived that it can only be resolved by self-generated hard probes, namely produced together with the medium but on a much shorter time scale. By subsequently interacting with the expanding QGP, these well calibrated probes carry valuable information about its transport properties.The purpose of this thesis is the measurement of jets as hard probes of the QGP along two complementary directions: by developping a new ALICE jet calorimeter trigger algorithm for LHC Run 2 to efficiently select events containing high energy electromagnetic showers and measuring charged jet production cross sections in Pb-Pb collisions at highest-ever centre of mass energy of 5.02TeV provided by the LHC. One of the basic challenges facing jet measurement in heavy-ion collisions consists in separating jets from the soft underlying event. The magnitude of the underlying event is quantified on an event-by-event basis and subtracted from the reconstructed jets. The remaining background fluctuations and detector effects are corrected at the event-ensemble level by an unfolding method. Furthermore, in order to minimise the fake jet contamination, a leading track jet transverse momentum cut-off of 5 GeV/c is applied.A strong suppression of jet production in the most central heavy-ion collisions is observed and quantified by the measurement of the nuclear modification factor, RAA. Such a suppression is interpreted as the result of parton energy loss in the QGP, the so-called jet quenching phenomenon. In this thesis, a phenomenological study with an original experimental observable of jet quenching (the energy shift) is presented. The key findings from this study are that the energy loss is constant in the measured jet transverse momentum range (up to ~ 100 GeV/c), of larger amplitude than at lower collision energy, and with a quadradic path-length dependence supporting the assumption that gluon radiation is the dominant mechanism at work.
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Hiroki Yokoyama. Measurement of jet spectra reconstructed with charged particles in Pb-Pb collisions at 5.02 TeV with the ALICE detector at the LHC. High Energy Physics - Experiment [hep-ex]. Université Grenoble Alpes, 2018. English. ⟨NNT : 2018GREAY010⟩. ⟨tel-01835842⟩

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