A large volume (90 m3) time projection chamber (TPC) is exploited at the dedicated heavy ion experiment ALICE (”A Large Ion Collider Experiment”) at the LHC. This TPC is the main tracking detector in ALICE and it is designed to measure up to 20,000 ionising particles emerging from a single Pb-Pb collision. It is equipped with 557,578 active read-out channels distributed over two end-plates of 1.8 − 5 m in diameter.
After ten years of construction the TPC was installed in its final location in 2008 and could be operated with cosmic data for more than one year. When the first LHC collision were recorded in November 2009 the TPC was a fully operational sub-detector in the ALICE data taking stream. Characteristic resolutions for transverse momentum (pt, 7% for pt = 10 GeV/c) and specific ionization loss (dE/dx, 5% for minimum ionizing pions) were obtained immediately. First Results from high intensity pp data indicate that the detector is performing as successfully in high flux environments.
In this presentation I will review the calibration and operation of the detector, and I will outline the prospects for the tracking of high multiplicity Pb-Pb events, which is the main purpose of this detector.
Organizer: Ferdinand Hahn PH-DT