Exploring the double-slit interference with linearly polarized photons
The linearly polarized quasireal photons from the highly Lorentz-contracted Coulomb fields of relativistic heavy ions can fluctuate to quark-antiquark pairs, scatter off a target nucleus, and emerge as vector mesons. In the process, the two colliding nuclei can serve as slits, forming a Young's double-slit experiment. In addition to the well-known double-slit interference pattern in position space, a similar interference pattern may be expected in polarization space due to the linear polarization of the colliding photons. In this paper, we investigate the interference effect in polarization space as revealed by the asymmetries of the decay angular distribution for vector meson photoprodution in heavy-ion collisions. We find a periodic oscillation pattern with transverse momentum, which can reasonably explain the second-order modulation in azimuth for the ρ0 decay observed by the STAR Collaboration.
Physical Review D
- Pub Date:
- February 2021
- High Energy Physics - Phenomenology
- Phys. Rev. D 103, 033007 (2021)