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Collisional energy loss of a fast heavy quark in a quark-gluon plasma

Abstract : We discuss the average collisional energy loss dE/dx of a heavy quark crossing a quark-gluon plasma, in the limit of high quark energy E >> M^2/T, where M is the quark mass and T >> M is the plasma temperature. In the fixed coupling approximation, at leading order dE/dx \propto \alpha_s^2, with a coefficient which is logarithmically enhanced. The soft logarithm arising from t-channel scattering off thermal partons is well-known, but a collinear logarithm from u-channel exchange had previously been overlooked. We also determine the constant beyond those leading logarithms. We then generalize our calculation of dE/dx to the case of running coupling. We estimate the remaining theoretical uncertainty of dE/dx, which turns out to be quite large under RHIC conditions. Finally, we point out an approximate relation between dE/dx and the QCD Debye mass, from which we derive an upper bound to dE/dx for all quark energies.
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Contributor : Dominique Girod <>
Submitted on : Monday, March 3, 2008 - 11:11:27 AM
Last modification on : Tuesday, December 3, 2019 - 1:00:09 PM

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S. Peigne, A. Peshier. Collisional energy loss of a fast heavy quark in a quark-gluon plasma. Physical Review D, American Physical Society, 2008, 77, pp.114017. ⟨10.1103/PhysRevD.77.114017⟩. ⟨in2p3-00260083⟩



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