Open heavy flavour reconstruction in the ALICE Central Barrel
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The ALICE experiment will be able to detect open charm and beauty hadrons in proton-proton and heavy ion collisions in the new energy regime of the CERN Large Hadron Collider (LHC). Heavy flavours are a powerful tool to investigate the medium created in high energy nucleus--nucleus interactions because they are produced in the hard scatterings occurring at early times and, thanks to their long lifetime on the collision timescale, they probe all the stages of the system evolution. The detectors of the ALICE central barrel ($-0.9 < \eta < 0.9$) will allow to track charged particles down to low transverse momentum ($\approx$ 100 MeV/$c$) and will provide hadron and electron identification as well as an accurate measurement of the positions of primary and secondary vertices. It will therefore be possible to measure the production of open heavy flavours in the central rapidity region down to low transverse momentum, exploiting the semi-electronic and the hadronic decay channels. Here we present a general overview of the ALICE perspectives for heavy flavour physics and some examples from the open charm and beauty analyses which have been developed and tested on detailed simulations of the experimental apparatus.
ICHEP08, Philadelphia, PA 29th July - 5th August 2008. Proceedings