The ALICE Experiment
ALICE has been designed to measure, in the most complete way possible, the particles produced in the collisions which take place at its center, so that the evolution of the system in space and time can be reconstructed and studied. To do so, many different detectors have to be used, each providing a different piece of information to physicists. To understand such a complex system, one needs to observe the phenomenon from different points of view, using different instruments at the same time, in the same way that a satellite looks at the earth combining detectors sensitive to different wavelength, which, allow us to see forests or clouds or archeological sites…
When the first concept of the ALICE experiment was developed, most of the necessary technologies did not exist! To finally come to the construction of the detectors, for over a decade was carried a marvelous program of research and development, to which each of the ALICE institutes contributed with its ideas and know-how, often in collaboration with some of the best High-Tech companies in the world. The quality and variety of the developments is amazing, ranging from integrated electronic circuits to high-density interconnections, from composite material structures to super-heavy yet transparent crystals, from computer networks to high precision time measurements … and much more !