Multi-strange baryon production in p-Pb collisions with ALICE at the LHC

Lloyd, Emily Jade Willsher (2021). Multi-strange baryon production in p-Pb collisions with ALICE at the LHC. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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A strongly-interacting state of matter known as the Quark-Gluon Plasma (QGP) is formed at high temperatures and energy densities. These conditions are achieved in heavy-ion collisions, such as the lead-lead (Pb–Pb) collisions carried out at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), and key results have confirmed a QGP formation. Smaller systems formed in proton–proton (pp) and proton–lead (p–Pb) collisions are not expected to achieve the conditions required to form a QGP. The results from the most recent high energy collisions achieved at the LHC, suggest this is no longer certain. One of the key signals used to explore the properties of the matter formed in collisions, is the production of strange hadrons. The excellent tracking and particle identification capabilities of the ALICE detector can be utilised to study the production of multi-strange baryons (\(\Xi^\pm, \Omega^\pm\)). This thesis presents the results of the production of multi-strange baryons in p–Pb collisions at a centre of mass energy of 8.16 TeV. The transverse momentum (\(p_T\)) distributions and mean transverse momentum, ⟨\(p_T\)⟩, are studied as a function of particle multiplicity. An increase with multiplicity in ⟨\(p_T\)⟩ is observed that is greater for the \(\Omega\) than the \(\Xi\), indicating the presence of radial flow. The yields of the baryons are also measured and normalised to pion yields in order to study the strangeness enhancement effect, originally predicted to indicate the presence of a QGP. A comparison to other collision energies and systems, pp, Pb–Pb and Xe–Xe, indicates that the hyperon-to-pion ratios follow a continuously increasing trend from low multiplicity pp to high-multiplicity Pb–Pb, independent of the initial collision energy and system size.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
Licence: All rights reserved
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Engineering & Physical Sciences
School or Department: School of Physics and Astronomy
Funders: Other, Science and Technology Facilities Council
Other Funders: School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Birmingham
Subjects: Q Science > QC Physics


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