J/ψ azimuthal anisotropy relative to the reaction plane in Pb-Pb collisions at 158 GeV per nucleon
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The J/ψ azimuthal distribution relative to the reaction plane has been measured by the NA50 experiment in Pb-Pb collisions at 158 GeV/nucleon. Various physical mechanisms related to charmonium dissociation in the medium created in the heavy ion collision are expected to introduce an anisotropy in the azimuthal distribution of the observed J/ψ mesons at SPS energies. Hence, the measurement of J/ψ elliptic anisotropy, quantified by the Fourier coefficient v 2 of the J/ψ azimuthal distribution relative to the reaction plane, is an important tool to constrain theoretical models aimed at explaining the anomalous J/ψ suppression observed in Pb-Pb collisions. We present the measured J/ψ yields in different bins of azimuthal angle relative to the reaction plane, as well as the resulting values of the Fourier coefficient v 2 as a function of the collision centrality and of the J/ψ transverse momentum. The reaction plane has been estimated from the azimuthal distribution of the neutral transverse energy detected in an electromagnetic calorimeter. The analysis has been performed on a data sample of about 100 000 events, distributed in five centrality or p T sub-samples. The extracted v 2 values are significantly larger than zero for non-central collisions and are seen to increase with p T.
KeywordsReaction Plane Electromagnetic Calorimeter Event Plane Combinatorial Background Azimuthal Distribution