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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Spin alignment of vector mesons in non-central A+A collisions


We discuss the consequence of global polarization of the produced quarks in non-central heavy-ion collisions on the spin alignment of vector mesons. We show that the alignment is quite different for different hadronization scenarios. These results can be tested directly by measuring the vector mesons' alignment through angular distributions of the decay products with respect to the reaction plane. Such angular distributions will give rise to azimuthal anisotropy v_2of the decay products in the collision frame. Constraints provided by the data on the azimuthal anisotropy of hadron spectra at RHIC points to a quark recombination scenario of hadronization.

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