16-20 November 2020
ECT* - European Center for Theoretical Studies in Nuclear Physics and Related Areas
Europe/Zurich timezone


In the recent past, several proposals have been made to exploit heavy ion collisions at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) to search for new phenomena in particle physics, including axion-like particles, long-lived particles beyond the Standard Model and magnetic monopoles. The objective of this workshop is to bring together members of the involved communities to exploit the potential of these ideas, either during scheduled LHC runs or in dedicated efforts at the LHC or future colliders. We want to create a unique opportunity for exchange between scientists working in different fields of experimental physics, theoretical physics, accelerator physics and detector physics that otherwise have little connection.

Scope of the workshop

Most of the proposals to search for New Physics in heavy ion collisions are very recent and form an entirely novel direction of research. We organised the first dedicated meeting about this topic in 2018 in Louvain La Neuve. The workshop was a great success, resulting in a contribution to the European Particle Physics Strategy and has been covered in a Field Note by the CERN Courier (page 22). However, there are still many open questions about the discovery potential and practical limitations that one will face. We want to provide a unique opportunity for members of different communities (theorists, experimentalists and accelerator physicists) who otherwise have no or little exchange with each other to discuss the possibility to search for New Physics in heavy ion collisions.

Scientific goals of the meeting

The goal of the workshop is to provide a platform for an open discussion of the potential to search for New Physics in heavy ion collisions. Specific topics include:

  • What signatures can be searched for?
  • What new particles can be found?
  • Which new exotic phenomena in the Standard Model can be probed?
  • Which ions should be used?
  • How can the integrated luminosity in heavy ion runs be optimised?
  • How can the experimental triggers be optimised?
  • How can one exploit the absence of pile-up in heavy ion collisions?
  • Are there well-motivated hardware modifications?
  • What are the implications for future colliders?

Based on the discussions we plan to form working groups to coordinate future research.

Outline of the programme

The programme will last one week. Each day will consist of one morning and two afternoon sessions. The morning session and the first afternoon session will host 2-3 longer plenary talks each. Based on our experience with the kickoff workshop we will leave room for extended discussions between the talks. The second afternoon session is reserved for discussions in smaller working groups and short presentations.

The topics to discuss include

  • Overview about heavy ion collisions
  • Prospects and challenges of heavy ion collisions
  • Detector limitation in heavy ion collisions
  • Axion like particles (and other light scalars)
  • Long lived particles
  • Sphalerons/Instatons
  • Born-Infeld theory
  • Magnetic monopoles
  • Sexaquarks
  • ...
ECT* - European Center for Theoretical Studies in Nuclear Physics and Related Areas
Str. delle Tabarelle, 286 38123 Villazzano TN Italy
Registration for this event is currently open.