Date of Award

5-2017

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Major

Physics

Major Professor

Christine Nattrass

Committee Members

Soren Sorensen, Edmund Perfect, Kenneth Read

Abstract

In relativistic heavy ion collisions at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), a hot, dense and strongly interacting medium known as the Quark Gluon Plasma (QGP) is produced. Quarks and gluons from incoming nuclei collide to produce partons at high momenta early in the collisions. By fragmenting into collimated sprays of hadrons, these partons form 'jets'. Within the framework of perturbative Quantum Chromodynamics (pQCD), jet production is well understood in pp collisions. We can use jets measured in pp interactions as a baseline reference for comparing to heavy ion collision systems to detect and study jet quenching. The jet quenching mechanism can be studied through the angular correlations of trigger jets with charged hadrons and is examined in transverse momentum bins of the trigger jets, transverse momentum bins of the associated hadrons, and studied as a function of collision centrality. A highly robust and precise background subtraction method is used in this analysis to remove the complex, flow dominated, heavy ion background. The analysis of angular correlations for different orientations of the trigger jet relative to the event plane allows for the study of the path length dependence of medium modifications to jets. The event plane dependence of azimuthal angular correlations of charged hadrons with respect to the axis of an R=0.2 reconstructed 'trigger' full (charged + neutral) jet in Pb--Pb collisions at $\sqrt{s_{NN}}$=2.76 [square root s subscript NN] TeV in ALICE will be discussed. Results will be compared for three angular bins of the trigger jet relative to the event plane in mid-peripheral events. The status of jet yields and widths relative to the event plane will be discussed. There is no significant event plane dependence within the current uncertainties. Path length dependence of energy loss is seen to be a secondary effect to statistical fluctuations and in-medium energy loss mechanisms.

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