The PHENIX Collaboration presents a systematic study of inclusive π0 production from p+p, p+Al, p+Au, d+Au, and He3+Au collisions at sNN=200GeV. Measurements were performed with different centrality selections as well as the total inelastic, 0-100%, selection for all collision systems. For 0-100% collisions, the nuclear-modification factors, RxA, are consistent with unity for pT above 8GeV/c, but exhibit an enhancement in peripheral collisions and a suppression in central collisions. The enhancement and suppression characteristics are similar for all systems for the same centrality class. It is shown that for high-pT-π0 production, the nucleons in the d and He3 interact mostly independently with the Au nucleus and that the counterintuitive centrality dependence is likely due to a physical correlation between multiplicity and the presence of a hard scattering process. These observations disfavor models where parton energy loss has a significant contribution to nuclear modifications in small systems. Nuclear modifications at lower pT resemble the Cronin effect - an increase followed by a peak in central or inelastic collisions and a plateau in peripheral collisions. The peak height has a characteristic ordering by system size as p+Au>d+Au>He3+Au>p+Al. For collisions with Au ions, current calculations based on initial-state cold nuclear matter effects result in the opposite order, suggesting the presence of other contributions to nuclear modifications, in particular at lower pT.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Nuclear and High Energy Physics