First measurement of quarkonium polarization in nuclear collisions at the LHC

The ALICE Collaboration, S. Acharya, D. Adamova, D. J. Kim, F. Krizek, J. E. Parkkila, J. Rak, Heidi Maria Rytkönen, Sami Räsänen, Oskari Antti Matti Saarimäki, M. Slupecki, W. H. Trzaska, Zhipeng Zhou

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The polarization of inclusive J/psi and Upsilon(1S) produced in Pb-Pb collisions at root s(NN) = 5.02 TeV at the LHC is measured with the ALICE detector. The study is carried out by reconstructing the quarkonium through its decay to muon pairs in the rapidity region 2.5 < y < 4 and measuring the polar and azimuthal angular distributions of the muons. The polarization parameters lambda(theta), lambda(phi) and lambda(theta phi) are measured in the helicity and Collins-Soper reference frames, in the transverse momentum interval 2 < p(T) < 10 GeV/c and p(T) < 15 GeV/c for the J/psi and Upsilon(1S), respectively. The polarization parameters for the J/psi are found to be compatible with zero, within a maximum of about two standard deviations at low p(T), for both reference frames and over the whole p(T) range. The values are compared with the corresponding results obtained for pp collisions at root s = 7 and 8 TeV in a similar kinematic region by the ALICE and LHCb experiments. Although with much larger uncertainties, the polarization parameters for Upsilon(1S) production in Pb-Pb collisions are also consistent with zero. (c) 2021 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (

Original languageEnglish
Article number136146
JournalPhysics Letters B
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 10 Apr 2021
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Fields of Science

  • 114 Physical sciences

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