ALICE tracks charm energy loss in the QGP
from CERN Courier
When heavy nuclei collide at high energies, a high-density color-deconfined state of strongly interacting matter is expected to form. According to lattice QCD calculations, the confinement of colored quarks and gluons into colorless hadrons vanishes under the conditions of high-energy density and temperature that are reached in these collisions and a phase transition to a quark–gluon plasma occurs. High-momentum partons are created in hard-scattering processes that occur in the early stage of the nuclear collision. They subsequently traverse the hot QGP, losing energy as they interact with its constituents. The first direct observation of the suppression of charmed mesons at high-transverse momentum in head-on nucleus–nucleus collisions indicates that charm quarks suffer a strong loss of energy in hot quark–gluon plasma.
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