Measurement of $D^0$ elliptic flow using the Heavy Flavor Tracker detector in Au+Au collisions at $\sqrt{s_{NN}} = 200 \, GeV$

In heavy ion collisions at relativistic energies conducted at Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC, Upton, USA) a new state of matter, Quark Gluon Plasma (QGP), is produced. QGP is a state of matter with partonic (i.e. gluons + quarks) degrees of freedom and is believed to be existing only during first moments after the Big Bang, and possibly inside of the heaviest neutron stars. One of the key QGP signatures is the elliptic flow ($v_2$) - a coefficient that describes spatial assymetry of particle yield. It has been observed that $v_2$ of particles composed of light quarks (i.e. up, down and strange) follow the same trends when scaled to the number of constituent quarks. Such observations implied that all light quarks gain the same flow in the heavy ion collision. On the other hand it was speculated that heavy quarks (charm and bottom) should have smaller $v_2$ bacause of their in-medium energy losses. Due to their heavy mass, c quarks are produced mostly before QGP is formed, which makes them excellent probes to study this hot, dense and strongly interacting medium. The Solenoidal Tracker At RHIC (STAR) experiment took data with the newly installed Heavy Flavor Tracker (HFT) detector. Thanks to the state-of-the-art tracking resolution of the HFT it is possible to measure $D^0$ mesons with unprecedented precision. This paper presents the STAR experiment measurement of $D^0$ elliptic flow.

Author: Andrzej Lipiec
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