Light neutral meson production in the era of precision physics at the LHC
The production of light neutral mesons in different collision systems is interesting for a variety of
reasons: In nucleus-nucleus (AA) collisions the measurements provide important information on
the energy loss of partons traversing the Quark-Gluon Plasma (QGP) which is formed in heavyion collisions at the LHC. In proton–proton (pp) collisions, neutral mesons allow us to test with
high precision the predictions of perturbative QCD and other model calculations, and also serve
as a reference for pA and AA collisions. In pA collisions, cold nuclear matter effects are studied.
In the ALICE experiment, which is dedicated to the study of the QGP, neutral mesons can be
detected via their decay to two photons. The latter can be reconstructed using the two calorimeters
EMCal and PHOS or via conversions in the detector material.
Combining state-of-the-art reconstruction techniques with the large data sample delivered by the
LHC in Run 2 gives us the opportunity to enhance the precision of our measurements. In these
proceedings, an overview of neutral meson production in pp, p–Pb and Pb–Pb collisions at LHC
energies, as measured with the ALICE detector is presented.
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