Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



Major Professor

Soren Sorensen

Committee Members

Kenneth Read, Yuri Kamychkov, Robert Compton


This thesis presents the first J/ Ψ production analysis of Au+Au reactions at forward rapidity at p √sNN = 200 GeV. In the second year of RHIC running, design energy was achieved in the collisions of both Au+Au ions and proton+proton reactions. The production of the J/Ψ is measured by the PHENIX experiment in Au+Au collisions as well as in proton-proton collisions. The scientific goal is to investigate the nature of hot, dense nuclear matter capitalizing on the unique properties of the J/ Ψ as a probe of this matter. Recent experimental results by the NA50 collaboration at CERN strongly deviate from the conventional picture that successfully describes data at lower energies. The importance of such a measurement is demonstrated by the wide spectrum of theoretical explanations concerning the existing data. The merits of these models will be explored in a systematic and comprehensive study of the J/ Ψ and open charm in collisions of a variety of species and energy. A survey of the theoretical models is presented and the relevant open charm and J/ Ψ PHENIX measurements are compared.

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