Parton Energy Loss in Heavy-Ion Collisions Via Direct-Photon and Charged-Particle Azimuthal Correlations

Document Type


Publication Date



Charged-particle spectra associated with direct photon (gamma(dir)) and pi(0) are measured in p + p and Au + Au collisions at center-of-mass energy root(S)(NN) = 200 GeV with the STAR detector at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider. A shower-shape analysis is used to partially discriminate between gamma(dir) and pi(0). Assuming no associated charged particles in the gamma(dir) direction ( near side) and small contribution from fragmentation photons (gamma(frag)), the associated charged-particle yields opposite to gamma(dir) (away side) are extracted. In central Au + Au collisions, the charged-particle yields at midrapidity (vertical bar eta vertical bar < 1) and high transverse momentum (3 < (assoc)(PT) < 16 GeV/c) associated with gamma(dir) and pi(0) (vertical bar eta vertical bar < 0.9, 8 < (trig)(PT) < 16 GeV/c) are suppressed by a factor of 3-5 compared with p + p collisions. The observed suppression of the associated charged particles is similar for gamma(dir) and pi(0) and independent of the gamma(dir) energy within uncertainties. These measurements indicate that, in the kinematic range covered and within our current experimental uncertainties, the parton energy loss shows no sensitivity to the parton initial energy, path length, or color charge.