Quarkonium Physics at a Fixed-Target Experiment using the LHC Beams


We outline the many quarkonium-physics opportunities offered by a multi-purpose fixed-target experiment using the p and Pb Large Hadron Collider (LHC) beams extracted by a bent crystal. This provides an integrated luminosity of 0.5 fb−1 per year on a typical 1 cm-long target. Such an extraction mode does not alter the performance of the collider experiments at the LHC. With such a high luminosity, one can analyse quarkonium production in great details in pp, pd and pA collisions at \({\sqrt{s_{NN}}\simeq 115}\) GeV and at \({\sqrt{s_{NN}}\simeq 72}\) GeV in PbA collisions. In a typical pp (pA) run, the obtained quarkonium yields per unit of rapidity are 2–3 orders of magnitude larger than those expected at RHIC and about, respectively, 10(70) times larger than for ALICE. In PbA, they are comparable. By instrumenting the target-rapidity region, the large negative-x F domain can be accessed for the first time, greatly extending previous measurements by Hera-B and E866. Such analyses should help resolving the quarkonium-production controversies and clear the way for gluon PDF extraction via quarkonium studies. The nuclear target-species versatility provides a unique opportunity to study nuclear matter and the features of the hot and dense matter formed in PbA collisions. A polarised proton target allows the study of transverse-spin asymmetries in J/ψ and \({\Upsilon}\) production, providing access to the gluon and charm Sivers functions.

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Lansberg, J.P., Brodsky, S.J., Fleuret, F. et al. Quarkonium Physics at a Fixed-Target Experiment using the LHC Beams. Few-Body Syst 53, 11–25 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00601-012-0445-8

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  • Large Hadron Collider
  • Gluon Distribution
  • PbPb Collision
  • Quarkonium Production
  • Charmonium Production