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Access Type

WSU Access

Date of Award

January 2017

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph.D.

Department

Physics and Astronomy

First Advisor

Abhijit Majumder

Abstract

This work outlines methods to use jet simulations to study both initial and final state nuclear effects in heavy-ion collisions. To study the initial state of heavy-ion collisions, the production of jets and high momentum hadrons from jets, produced in deuteron ($d$)-$Au$ collisions at the relativistic heavy-ion collider (RHIC) and proton ($p$)-$Pb$ collisions at the large hadron collider (LHC) are studied as a function of \emph{centrality}, a measure of the impact parameter of the collision. A modified version of the event generator PYTHIA, widely used to simulate $p$-$p$ collisions, is used in conjunction with a nuclear Monte-Carlo event generator which simulates the locations of the nucleons within a large nucleus. It is demonstrated how events with a hard jet may be simulated, in such a way that the parton distribution function of the projectile is frozen during its interaction with the extended nucleus. Using this approach, it is demonstrated that the puzzling enhancement seen in peripheral events at RHIC and the LHC, as well as the suppression seen in central events at the LHC are mainly due to \emph{mis}-binning of central and semi-central events, containing a jet, as peripheral events. This occurs due to the suppression of soft particle production away from the jet, caused by the depletion of energy available in a nucleon of the deuteron (in $d$-$Au$ at RHIC) or in the proton (in $p$-$Pb$ at LHC), after the production of a hard jet. In conclusion, partonic correlations built out of simple energy conservation are responsible for such an effect, though these are sampled at the hard scale of jet production and, as such, represent smaller states. To study final state nuclear effects, the modification of hard jets in the Quark Gluon Plasma (QGP) is simulated using the MATTER event generator. Based on the higher twist formalism of energy loss, the MATTER event generator simulates the evolution of highly virtual partons through a medium. These partons sampled from an underlying PYTHIA kernel undergo splitting through a combination of vacuum and medium induced emission. The momentum exchange with the medium is simulated via the jet transport coefficient $\hat{q}$, which is assumed to scale with the entropy density at a given location in the medium. The entropy density is obtained from a relativistic viscous fluid dynamics simulation (VISH2+1D) in 2+1 space time dimensions. Results for jet and hadron observables are presented using an independent fragmentation model.

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