The ATLAS experiment at the LHC has measured the centrality dependence of charged particle pseudorapidity distributions over vertical bar eta vertical bar < 2 in lead-lead collisions at a nucleon-nucleon centre-of-mass energy of root s(NN) = 2.76 TeV. In order to include particles with transverse momentum as low as 30 MeV, the data were recorded with the central solenoid magnet off. Charged particles were reconstructed with two algorithms (2-point "tracklets" and full tracks) using information from the pixel detector only. The lead-lead collision centrality was characterized by the total transverse energy in the forward calorimeter in the range 3.2 < vertical bar eta vertical bar< 4.9. Measurements are presented of the per-event charged particle pseudorapidity distribution, dN(ch)/d eta, and the average charged particle multiplicity in the pseudorapidity interval vertical bar eta vertical bar < 0.5 in several intervals of collision centrality. The results are compared to previous mid-rapidity measurements at the LHC and RHIC. The variation of the mid-rapidity charged particle yield per colliding nucleon pair with the number of participants is consistent with lower root s(NN) results. The shape of the dN(ch)/d eta distribution is found to be independent of centrality within the systematic uncertainties of the measurement. (C) 2012 CERN. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved. RI Li, Xuefei/C-3861-2012; Sivoklokov, Sergey/D-8150-2012; Smirnov, Sergei/F-1014-2011; Gladilin, Leonid/B-5226-2011; Prokoshin, Fedor/E-2795-2012; Fazio, Salvatore /G-5156-2010; Doyle, Anthony/C-5889-2009; Alexa, Calin/F-6345-2010; Gutierrez, Phillip/C-1161-2011; Pacheco Pages, Andres/C-5353-2011; Livan, Michele/D-7531-2012; Takai, Helio/C-3301-2012; Petrucci, Fabrizio/G-8348-2012; Wemans, Andre/A-6738-2012; Jones, Roger/H-5578-2011; Fabbri, Laura/H-3442-2012; Kurashige, Hisaya/H-4916-2012; Villa, Mauro/C-9883-2009; Kuzhir, Polina/H-8653-2012; Delmastro, Marco/I-5599-2012

Measurement of the centrality dependence of the charged particle pseudorapidity distribution in lead-lead collisions at root s(NN)=2.76 TeV with the ATLAS detector