2014-11-20 by ALICE Collaboration
ALICE is making a public release of a number of datasets customised for demonstration and educational purpose. A number of reconstructed data files which are not statistically representative are included to allow plotting transverse momentum and pseudorapidity distributions. More advanced analysis and tools as well as larger data samples will be available in future releases.
At this stage we are making available a set of outreach and educational analysis exercises. These are based on specifically-selected ALICE data and are widely used for the particle physics masterclasses. These exercises expose simplified tools, which however give the feel of the real tools employed by the physicists for the data analysis, and come in the form of analysis packages and small datasets organised as root files. Each analysis downloads on demand the required software and data from a common graphics interface.
The documentation coming with these exercises contains both some physics introduction and the instructions for running the programs, which highlight some of the ALICE physics. One exercise is the search for particles containing strange quarks, based on their V0 decays; the motivation is to give an insight to strangeness enhancement, one of the first signatures for the Quark-Gluon Plasma (QGP). Another exercise basically looks at charged particle tracks; the aim is to calculate the nuclear modification factor RAA, by comparing particle yields in the case of lead-lead and proton-proton collisions; the fact that RAA is less than one indicates the suppression of charged particles due to interactions of partons with the QGP.