From ALICE at CERN via Symmetry/Breaking: “Scientists finish installation of 80-ton ‘particle thermometer’ at ALICE detector”

“Scientists on the ALICE experiment at the Large Hadron Collider just completed the installation of a crucial component for tracking high-energy particle jets. Without it, physicists would be lacking crucial tools to select which events out of billions to store and analyze.

Engineers and physicists around the world worked intensively over five years to complete the electromagnetic calorimeter, or EMCal. The United States, supported by the Department of Energy’s Nuclear Physics Office, contributed 70 percent of the project costs. Scientists installed the last two pieces of the 80-ton device on Jan. 18.

The EMCal’s heft comes from its many sheets of lead absorbers, which it needs to stop particles coming from collisions in the detector in order to measure their energy. “The calorimeter measures the energy of individual photons and electrons,” said ALICE physicist Peter Jacobs. “It’s a sort of particle thermometer.”


Scientists install the electromagnetic calorimeter at the ALICE detector. Image: CERN

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