Highlights from PHENIX at RHIC
Physics Department, Brookhaven National Laboratory, Upton, New York 11973, United States
2 RIKEN-BNL Research Center, Brookhaven National Laboratory, Upton, New York 11973, United States
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Published online: 2 February 2018
Hadrons conveying strange quarks or heavy quarks are essential probes of the hot and dense medium created in relativistic heavy-ion collisions. With hidden strangeness, ϕ meson production and its transport in the nuclear medium have attracted high interest since its discovery. Heavy quark-antiquark pairs, like charmonium and bottomonium mesons, are mainly produced in initial hard scattering processes of partons. While some of the produced pairs form bound quarkonia, the vast majority hadronize into particles carrying open heavy flavor. In this context, the PHENIX collaboration carries out a comprehensive physics program which studies the ϕ meson production, and heavy flavor production in relativistic heavy-ion collisions at RHIC. In recent years, the PHENIX experiment upgraded the detector in installing silicon vertex tracker (VTX) at mid-rapidity region and forward silicon vertex tracker (FVTX) at the forward rapidity region. With these new upgrades, the experiment has collected large data samples, and enhanced the capability of heavy flavor measurements via precision tracking. This paper summarizes the latest PHENIX results concerning ϕ meson, open and closed charm and beauty heavy quark production in relativistic heavy-ion collisions. These results are presented as a function of rapidity, energy and system size, and their interpretation with respect to the current theoretical understanding.
© The Authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2018
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