## Measurement of non-flow correlations and elliptic flow fluctuations in Au+Au collisions at RHIC

##### Author(s)

Alver, Burak Han
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##### Alternative title

Measurement of non-flow correlations and elliptic flow fluctuations in Au+Au collisions at Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider

##### Other Contributors

Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Physics.

##### Advisor

Gunther Roland.

##### Terms of use

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Show full item record##### Abstract

Measurements of collective flow and two-particle correlations have proven to be effective tools for understanding the properties of the system produced in ultrarelativistic nucleus-nucleus collisions at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC). Accurate modeling of the initial conditions of a heavy ion collision is crucial in the interpretation of these results. The anisotropic shape of the initial geometry of heavy ion collisions with finite impact parameter leads to an anisotropic particle production in the azimuthal direction through collective flow of the produced medium. In "head-on" collisions of Copper nuclei at ultrarelativistic energies, the magnitude of this "elliptic flow" has been observed to be significantly large. This is understood to be due to fluctuations in the initial geometry which leads to a significant anisotropy even for most central Cu+Cu collisions. This thesis presents a phenomenological study of the effect of initial geometry fluctuations on two-particle correlations and an experimental measurement of the magnitude of elliptic flow fluctuations which is predicted to be large if initial geometry fluctuations are present. Two-particle correlation measurements in Au+Au collisions at the top RHIC energies have shown that after correction for contributions from elliptic flow, strong azimuthal correlation signals are present at A0 = 0 and A0 ~ 120. These correlation structures may be understood in terms of event-by-event fluctuations which result in a triangular anisotropy in the initial collision geometry of heavy ion collisions, which in turn leads to a triangular anisotropy in particle production. It is observed that similar correlation structures are observed in A Multi-Phase Transport (AMPT) model and are, indeed, found to be driven by the triangular anisotropy in the initial collision geometry. Therefore "triangular flow" may be the appropriate description of these correlation structures in data. The measurement of elliptic flow fluctuations is complicated by the contributions of statistical fluctuations and other two-particle correlations (non-flow correlations) to the observed fluctuations in azimuthal particle anisotropy. New experimental techniques, which crucially rely on the uniquely large coverage of the PHOBOS detector at RHIC, are developed to quantify and correct for these contributions. Relative elliptic flow fluctuations of approximately 30-40% are observed in 6-45% most central Au+Au collisions at s NN= 200 GeV. These results are consistent with the predicted initial geometry fluctuations.

##### Description

Thesis (Ph. D.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Physics, 2010. Cataloged from PDF version of thesis. Includes bibliographical references (p. 95-102).

##### Date issued

2010##### Department

Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Physics##### Publisher

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

##### Keywords

Physics.