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At high temperatures, strongly interacting matter becomes a plasma of deconfined quarks and gluons. In statistical QCD, deconfinement and the properties of the resulting quarkgluon plasma can be investigated by studying the in-medium behaviour of heavy quark bound states. In high energy nuclear interactions, quarkonia probe different aspects of the medium(More)
QCD predicts that strongly interacting matter will undergo a transition from a state of hadronic constituents to a plasma of unbound quarks and gluons. We first survey the conceptual features of this transition and its description in finite temperature lattice QCD, before we address its experimental investigation through high energy nucleus-nucleus(More)
An essential prerequisite for quark-gluon plasma production in nuclear collisions is cross-talk between the partons from different nucleons in the colliding nuclei. The initial density of partons is determined by the parton distribution functions obtained from deep inelastic lepton-hadron scattering and by the nuclear geometry; it increases with increasing(More)
This report reviews the study of open heavyflavour and quarkonium production in high-energy hadronic collisions, as tools to investigate fundamental aspects of Quantum Chromodynamics, from the proton and nucleus structure at high energy to deconfinement and the properties of the Quark–Gluon Plasma. Emphasis is given to the lessons learnt from LHC Run 1(More)
At high temperatures or densities, hadronic matter shows different forms of critical behaviour: colour deconfinement, chiral symmetry restoration, and diquark condensation. I first discuss the conceptual basis of these phenomena and then consider the description of colour deconfinement in terms of symmetry breaking, through colour screening and as(More)
During the past fifty years, our concept of an elementary particle has undergone a fundamental change. Today we understand hadrons as bound states of quarks, and thus as composite. In strong interaction physics, quarks have become the smallest building blocks of nature. But the binding force between quarks confines them to their hadron, which cannot be(More)