Heavy-flavor electron-muon correlations in p+p and d+Au collisions at sNN =200 GeV

PHENIX Collaboration

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Background: Heavy-flavor modification in relativistic p(d)+A collisions are sensitive to different kinds of strong-interaction physics ranging from modifications of the nuclear wave function to initial- and final-state energy loss. Modifications to single heavy-flavor particles and their decay leptons at midrapidity and forward rapidity are well established at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC). Purpose: This paper presents measurements of azimuthal correlations of electron-muon pairs produced from heavy-flavor decays, primarily cc̄, in sNN=200 GeV p+p and d+Au collision using the PHENIX detector at RHIC. The electrons are measured at midrapidity while the muons in the pair are measured at forward rapidity, defined as the direction of the deuteron beam, in order to utilize the deuteron to probe low-x partons in the gold nucleus. Methods: This analysis uses the central spectrometer arms for electron identification and forward spectrometer arms for muon identification. Azimuthal correlations are built in all sign combinations for e-μ pairs. Subtracting the like-sign yield from the unlike-sign yield removes the correlations from light flavor decays and conversions. Results: Comparing the p+p results with several different Monte Carlo event generators, we find the results are consistent with a total charm cross section σcc̄=538±46 (stat) ± 197 (data syst) ± 174 (model syst) μb. These generators also indicate that the back-to-back peak at Δφ=π is dominantly from the leading-order contributions (gluon fusion), while higher-order processes (flavor excitation and gluon splitting) contribute to the yield at all Δφ. We observe a suppression in the pair yield per collision in d+Au. We find the pair yield suppression factor for 2.7<Δφ<3.2 rad is JdA=0.433±0.087 (stat) ± 0.135 (syst). Conclusions: The e-μ pairs result from partons at xAu∼10-2 at Q2=10 GeV/c2 at the edge of the shadowing region. The pair suppression indicates modification to cc̄ pairs for these kinematics in the cold nuclear medium at RHIC.

Original languageEnglish
Article number034915
JournalPhysical Review C - Nuclear Physics
Issue number3
StatePublished - 31 Mar 2014
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics


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