Evidence for light-by-light scattering in heavy-ion collisions with the ATLAS detector at the LHC Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • © 2017 Macmillan Publishers Limited, part of Springer Nature. All rights reserved. Light-by-light scattering (γγ → γγ) is a quantum-mechanical process that is forbidden in the classical theory of electrodynamics. This reaction is accessible at the Large Hadron Collider thanks to the large electromagnetic field strengths generated by ultra-relativistic colliding lead ions. Using 480 μ 1 of lead-lead collision data recorded at a centre-of-mass energy per nucleon pair of 5.02 TeV by the ATLAS detector, here we report evidence for light-by-light scattering. A total of 13 candidate events were observed with an expected background of 2.6 ± 0.7 events. After background subtraction and analysis corrections, the fiducial cross-section of the process Pb + Pb (γγ) → Pb (∗) + Pb (∗)γγ ,for photon transverse energy E T > 3GeV, photon absolute pseudorapidity |η| <2.4, diphoton invariant mass greater than 6GeV, diphoton transverse momentum lower than 2GeV and diphoton acoplanarity below 0.01, is measured to be 70 ± 24 (stat.) ±17 (syst.) nb, which is in agreement with the standard model predictions.

altmetric score

  • 533.156

author list (cited authors)

  • Aaboud, M., Aad, G., Abbott, B., Abdallah, J., Abdinov, O., Abeloos, B., ... Collaboration, A.

citation count

  • 94

publication date

  • August 2017