EUROPEAN PHYSICAL JOURNAL PLUS, vol.129, no.5, 2014 (SCI-Expanded)
A new detector concept has been investigated to extend the capabilities of heavy-ion collider experiments, represented here through the ALICE detector, in the high transverse momentum (p (T) region. The resulting Very High Momentum Particle Identification Detector (VHMPID) performs charged hadron identification on a track-by-track basis in the 5 GeV/c < p < 25 GeV/c momentum range and provides heavy-ion experiments with new opportunities to study parton-medium interactions at RHIC and LHC energies, where the creation of deconfined quark-gluon matter has been established. The detector is based on novel advances to the pressurized gaseous ring imaging Cherenkov (RICH) concept, which yield a very compact, high resolution addition to existing heavy-ion experiments. We conclude that in order for the device to yield statistically significant results not only for single particle measurements, but also for di-hadron and jet-tagged correlation studies, it has to cover contiguously up to 30% of a central barrel detector in radial direction. This will allow, for the first time, identified charged hadron measurements in jets. In this paper we summarize the physics motivations for such a device, as well as its conceptual design, layout, and integration into ALICE.