Heavy quark production at an Electron-Ion Collider

An Electron-Ion Collider (EIC) with center-of-mass energies sqrt(s_{eN}) ~ 20-100 GeV and luminosity L ~ 10^{34} cm^{-2} s^{-1} would offer new opportunities to study heavy quark production in high-energy electron or photon scattering on protons and nuclei. We report about an R&D project exploring the feasibility of direct measurements of nuclear gluon densities at large x (gluonic EMC effect, antishadowing) using open charm production at EIC. We describe the charm production rates and angle-momentum distributions at large x and discuss methods of charm reconstruction using next-generation detector capabilities (pi/K identification, vertex reconstruction). The results can be used also for other physics applications of heavy quark production at EIC (fragmentation functions, jets, heavy quark propagation in nuclei).

Comments: 6 pages, 4 figures. Proceedings of XIIth International Conference on Beauty, Charm, and Hyperons in Hadronic Interactions (BEACH 2016), 12-18 June 2016, George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia, USA

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