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.
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