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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Medium-induced flavor conversion and kaon spectra in electron-ion collisions

  • Author(s): Chang, NB
  • Deng, WT
  • Wang, XN
  • et al.

©2015 American Physical Society. Multiple scattering and induced parton splitting lead to a medium modification of the QCD evolution for jet fragmentation functions and final hadron spectra. Medium-induced parton splittings not only lead to energy loss of leading partons and suppression of leading hadron spectra, but also modify the flavor composition of a jet due to induced flavor conversion via gluon emission and quark pair production and annihilation. Through a numerical study of the medium-modified QCD evolution, leading K- strange meson spectra are found to be particularly sensitive to the medium-induced flavor conversion in semi-inclusive deeply inelastic scatterings (SIDIS) off a large nucleus. The induced flavor conversion can lead to an increased number of gluons and sea quarks in a jet shower and, as a consequence, enhance the leading K- spectrum to counter the effect of parton energy loss in SIDIS with large momentum fractions xB, where the struck quarks are mostly valence quarks of the nucleus.

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