Ilkka Helenius, Hannu Paukkunen and Kari J. Eskola
Neutron-skin effect and centrality dependence of high-$p_{T}$ observables in nuclear collisions


We report on our studies of the neutron-skin effects in high-pT observables at the LHC. We study the impact of the neutron-skin effect on the centrality dependence of inclusive direct photon, high-pT hadron and W± production in nuclear collisions at the LHC. The neutron-skin effect refers to the observation that in spherical heavy nuclei, the tail of the neutron distribution extends farther than the distribution of protons, which can affect observables sensitive to electroweak phenomena in very peripheral collisions. We quantify this effect for direct photons, charged hadrons and W bosons as a function of the collision centrality. In the case of direct photons we find that it will be difficult to resolve the neutron-skin effect, given the uncertainties in the nuclear PDFs and their spatial dependence. With charged hadrons and W's, however, up to 20% unambiguous effects are expected for most peripheral collisions.

LU TP 16-35