Open heavy-flavour measurements via muons in proton-proton and nucleus-nucleus collisions with the ALICE detector at the CERN-LHC

Abstract : The study of ultra-relativistic heavy-ion collisions aims at investigating a state of strongly-interacting matter at high energy density and temperature, the Quark-Gluon Plasma (QGP). Heavy quarks (charm and beauty) are predominantly produced in initial hard scattering processes during the early stage of the collisions and experience the full evolution of the medium. Therefore, the measurement of open heavy flavours should provide essential information on the QGP properties. Similar measurements in small systems are also essential for a comprehensible understanding of the QGP properties. The study of open heavy flavours in proton-proton (pp) collisions provides the mandatory reference for measurements in heavy-ion collisions. This thesis presents measurements of the production of muons from heavy-flavour hadron decays at forward rapidity (2.5 < y < 4) in pp collisions at sqrt (s) = 5.02 TeV, Pb-Pb collisions at sqrt (sNN) = 2.76 and 5.02 TeV and Xe-Xe collisions at sqrt (sNN) = 5.44 TeV collected with the ALICE detector at the CERN-LHC. The differential production cross sections of muons from heavy-flavour hadron decays in pp collisions at sqrt (s) = 5.02 TeV are obtained in a wide transverse momentum interval, 2 < pT < 20 GeV/c, and with an improved precision compared to the previously published measurements at sqrt (s) = 2.76 and 7 TeV. The measurements are described within uncertainties by predictions based on perturbative QCD. A strong suppression of the yield of muons from heavy-flavour decays is observed in the 10% most central Pb-Pb collisions at both sqrt (sNN) = 2.76 and 5.02 TeV. This suppression is due to final-state effects induced by the hot and dense medium. The suppression in Xe-Xe collisions is similar to that observed with Pb-Pb collisions. The comparison in the two colliding systems provides insight in the path-length dependence of medium-induced parton energy loss. The results constrain model calculations.
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Zuman Zhang. Open heavy-flavour measurements via muons in proton-proton and nucleus-nucleus collisions with the ALICE detector at the CERN-LHC. Accelerator Physics [physics.acc-ph]. Université Clermont Auvergne; Central China Normal University, 2018. English. ⟨NNT : 2018CLFAC077⟩. ⟨tel-02137482⟩

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