Campus Units

Physics and Astronomy

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Publication Version

Published Version

Publication Date


Journal or Book Title

Physical Review C





First Page





High-energy proton- and deuteron-nucleus collisions provide an excellent tool for studying a wide array of physics effects, including modifications of parton distribution functions in nuclei, gluon saturation, and color neutralization and hadronization in a nuclear environment, among others. All of these effects are expected to have a significant dependence on the size of the nuclear target and the impact parameter of the collision, also known as the collision centrality. In this article, we detail a method for determining centrality classes in p(d) + A collisions via cuts on the multiplicity at backward rapidity (i.e., the nucleus-going direction) and for determining systematic uncertainties in this procedure. For d + Au collisions at root s(NN) = 200 GeV we find that the connection to geometry is confirmed by measuring the fraction of events in which a neutron from the deuteron does not interact with the nucleus. As an application, we consider the nuclear modification factors Rp(d)+A, for which there is a bias in the measured centrality-dependent yields owing to auto correlations between the process of interest and the backward-rapidity multiplicity. We determine the bias-correction factors within this framework. This method is further tested using the HIJING Monte Carlo generator. We find that for d + Au collisions at root s(NN) = 200 GeV, these bias corrections are small and vary by less than 5% (10%) up to p(T) = 10 (20) GeV/c. In contrast, for p + Pb collisions at v root s(NN) = 5.02 TeV we find that these bias factors are an order of magnitude larger and strongly pT dependent, likely attributable to the larger effect of multiparton interactions.


This is an article from Physical Review C 90 (2014): 034902, doi:10.1103/PhysRevC.90.034902. Posted with permission.

Copyright Owner

American Physical Society



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Nuclear Commons