Affiliation: University of Utrecht, NL
Keywords: Experimental Particle Physics
The research of my group at Utrecht University focuses on the measurement of heavy-flavour production in collisions of high energetic atomic nuclei in the ALICE experiment at the CERN Large Hadron Collider (LHC). The LHC particle accelerator allows to create and study a novel state of matter, the Quark-Gluon Plasma (QGP) under controlled laboratory conditions. The QGP is predicted by the fundamental theory of strong interactions and is characterized by an equilibrated system of liberated quarks and gluons that are the constituents of atomic nuclei. In cosmology, it is believed that the early expanding universe consisted of such plasma approximately 10 microseconds after the Big Bang. Little is known about this peculiar state of matter and my group studies this fascinating period in cosmological evolution in more detail.