Doctoral Dissertations

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



Major Professor

Kenneth Read

Committee Members

Soren Sorensen, Yuri Efremenko, Steve Skutnik


Heavy flavor quarks are produced early in heavy ion collisions and will experience the full evolution of the Quark Gluon Plasma (QGP). Measurements at forward rapidity may be influenced as much, or more, by the cold nuclear matter effects as by the hot nuclear matter effects associated with a QGP. As the medium evolves, the initial spatial anisotropy of participants is converted to an azimuthal anisotropy in the momentum space of outgoing particles. Therefore, the momentum spectra modification and anisotropy parameters provide useful information about the heavy quark interaction with the bulk medium.

Asymmetric heavy ion collisions, such as Cu+Au, provide a unique geometry with which to study the dynamics of the heavy quarks, relative to that in symmetric collisions. In particular, asymmetries in the yields between the Cu-going and Au-going directions may help unentangle the so-called cold nuclear matter effects from the hot nuclear matter effects indicative of a QGP. In addition, the parameters v2 and v3 in asymmetric collisions may be modified relative to the symmetric collisions due to the unique geometry provided in mid-central Cu+Au collisions.

This dissertation presents the measurement of the yield and azimuthal anisotropy of single muons originating from heavy flavor decays in √ SNN [center-of-mass energy per nucleon] = 200 GeV Cu+Au collisions.

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Nuclear Commons