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Physical Review C


Pair correlations between large transverse momentum neutral pion triggers (pT=4 - 7 GeV/c) and charged hadron partners (pT=3 - 7 GeV/c) in central (0%-20%) and midcentral (20%-60%) Au+Au collisions at √sNN=200 GeV are presented as a function of trigger orientation with respect to the reaction plane. The particles are at larger momentum than where jet shape modifications have been observed, and the correlations are sensitive to the energy loss of partons traveling through hot dense matter. An out-of-plane trigger particle produces only 26±20% of the away-side pairs that are observed opposite of an in-plane trigger particle for midcentral (20%-60%) collisions. In contrast, near-side jet fragments are consistent with no suppression or dependence on trigger orientation with respect to the reaction plane. These observations are qualitatively consistent with a picture of little near-side parton energy loss either due to surface bias or fluctuations and increased away-side parton energy loss due to a long path through the medium. The away-side suppression as a function of reaction-plane angle is shown to be sensitive to both the energy loss mechanism and the space-time evolution of heavy-ion collisions.



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