Regular Article - Experimental Physics
LHC capabilities for quarkonium
Skobeltsyn Institute of Nuclear Physics, Moscow State University, Moscow, 119992, Russia
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Revised: 9 December 2008
Published online: 3 February 2009
The measurement of the charmonium and bottomonium resonances in nucleus-nucleus collisions provides crucial information on high-density QCD matter. First, the suppression of quarkonia production is generally agreed to be one of the most direct probes of quark-gluon plasma formation. The observation of anomalous J/ψ suppression at the CERN-SPS and at RHIC is well established but the clarification of some important remaining questions requires equivalent studies of the ϒ family, will be possible at the LHC. Second, the production of heavy-quarks proceeds mainly via gluon-gluon fusion processes and, as such, is sensitive to saturation of the gluon density at low-x in the nucleus. Measured departures from the expected vacuum quarkonia cross-sections in Pb+Pb collisions at the LHC will thus provide valuable information not only on the thermodynamical state of the produced partonic medium, but also on the initial-state modifications of the nuclear parton distribution functions. The capabilities of the LHC detectors (ALICE, ATLAS and CMS) to study quarkonia production in Pb+Pb collisions at 5.5 TeV per nucleon pair are discussed.
© Springer-Verlag , 2009