Probing the primordial quark gluon plasma with heavy flavour


  • Call:

    PT-CERN Call 2021/1

  • Academic Year:


  • Domain:

    Astroparticle Physics

  • Supervisor:

    Nuno Leonardo

  • Co-Supervisor:

    Yen-Jie Lee

  • Institution:

    Instituto Superior Técnico (Universidade de Lisboa)

  • Host Institution:

    Laboratório de Instrumentação e Física Experimental de Partículas

  • Abstract:

    At the LHC we recreate droplets of the primordial medium that permeated the universe in its first microseconds. This hot, dense, coloured medium, the quark-gluon plasma (QGP), is produced in ultra-relativistic heavy-ion collisions. The highest energies attained at the LHC and its state-of-the-art detectors are facilitating tremendous advancements in our understanding of the strong interaction, and of QCD matter at extreme conditions. Such data-driven advances also highlight unexpected behaviour, and the study of the QGP medium is fostered by novel probes facilitated by the large datasets being collected. One such probe is provided by heavy quarks. The bottom quarks are particularly interesting probes, as they are produced early in the collision and thus experience the full evolution of the hot medium. The aim of the Thesis project is the detection and study of b-quark hadrons in heavy-ion collisions (with particular the focus on the still-to-be-detected B0 meson, the rarer Bc meson, and possible exotic hadrons). These novel probes facilitate unique information on the flavour and mass dependence of energy loss mechanisms, as particles traverse the medium, and on underlying quark-recombination mechanisms yet to be observed at these scales. The Thesis project aims at making unique contributions to further our understanding of the primordial medium, by exploring novel probes and unprecedented energies at the LHC