Seminar Details

Azimuthal Anisotropy of Photon Production in Heavy-ion Collisions

Vladimir Skokov, Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL)
Tuesday, January 15, 11:00 AM - Theory Seminar
NSCL Seminar Room

In contrast to hadronic observables, which strongly are influenced by the final state of the fireball created in a heavy-ion collision, the "direct" photons leave the fireball almost without interacting with the medium and thus they may play an important role in unraveling the properties of hot and dense matter. Measurements by the PHENIX collaboration revealed that the anisotropy of produced photons is very close to that of hadrons at sqrt(s) =200 GeV . Very recent data from the ALICE collaboration at the LHC affirms this at significantly higher collision energies. These results contradict the current theory of photon production: It has been expected that the elliptic flow of direct photons would be much smaller than that of hadrons because a significant fraction of photons has to be produced at early times, when the temperature is the highest. In this talk, I will discuss the novel photon production mechanism that is able to resolve the above problem. It stems from the conformal anomaly of QCD+QED and the existence of strong (electro)magnetic field in heavy-ion collisions. Using a realistic input for the magnetic field and the hydrodynamical description of the bulk modes of QCD plasma, I show that this mechanism leads to the photon production yield that is comparable to the yield from conventional sources. The transverse momentum spectra and the anisotropy (the elliptic “flow”), of photons at sqrt(s) =200 GeV are calculated. This mechanism provides considerable contribution to the anisotropy of photons. The results will be compared to the data from the PHENIX collaboration.