EMMI Nuclear and Quark Matter seminar

Heavy Ion Physics with the ATLAS Experiment

by Zvi Citron (Weizmann Institute, Rehovot, Israel)

Abstract: Relativistic heavy ion collisions seek to create in a controlled setting the conditions present in the universe only a fraction of a second after the big bang. In this brief early moment, the fundamental constituents of matter, quarks and gluons, existed as the relevant degrees of freedom rather than being bound into hadrons as they are today. Heavy ion colliders, in particular the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) at Brookhaven National Laboratory and the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN, collide heavy particles with such force that at their collision an energy density is reached which rivals that of the early universe. Since the start of RHIC running in 2000, studying this hot dense medium, dubbed the 'quark gluon plasma', has revealed many insights about matter under extreme conditions and the strong force which governs the interactions of quarks and gluons. The ATLAS experiment at the LHC has a robust heavy ion physics program and in a short two years of running has yielded new and more precise information about the quark gluon plasma. Results from ATLAS in Pb+Pb collisions as well as a first look at collisions from the control p+Pb system will be presented.