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

Atlas Collaboration

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

74 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

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 μ1 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 ET > 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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)852-858
Number of pages7
JournalNature Physics
Volume13
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 5 2017

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ionic collisions
light scattering
detectors
photons
subtraction
transverse momentum
electrodynamics
center of mass
field strength
electromagnetic fields
collisions
energy
cross sections
predictions
ions

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

Cite this

Evidence for light-by-light scattering in heavy-ion collisions with the ATLAS detector at the LHC. / Atlas Collaboration.

In: Nature Physics, Vol. 13, No. 9, 05.09.2017, p. 852-858.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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abstract = "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 μ1 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 ET > 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.",
author = "{Atlas Collaboration} and M. Aaboud and G. Aad and B. Abbott and J. Abdallah and O. Abdinov and B. Abeloos and Abidi, {S. H.} and AbouZeid, {O. S.} and Abraham, {N. L.} and H. Abramowicz and H. Abreu and R. Abreu and Y. Abulaiti and Acharya, {B. S.} and S. Adachi and L. Adamczyk and J. Adelman and M. Adersberger and T. Adye and Affolder, {A. A.} and T. Agatonovic-Jovin and C. Agheorghiesei and Aguilar-Saavedra, {J. A.} and Ahlen, {S. P.} and F. Ahmadov and G. Aielli and S. Akatsuka and H. Akerstedt and {\AA}kesson, {T. P.A.} and Akimov, {A. V.} and Alberghi, {G. L.} and J. Albert and {Alconada Verzini}, {M. J.} and M. Aleksa and Aleksandrov, {I. N.} and C. Alexa and G. Alexander and T. Alexopoulos and M. Alhroob and B. Ali and M. Aliev and G. Alimonti and J. Alison and Alkire, {S. P.} and Allbrooke, {B. M.M.} and Allen, {B. W.} and Allport, {P. P.} and A. Aloisio and A. Alonso and F. Alonso",
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AU - Akimov, A. V.

AU - Alberghi, G. L.

AU - Albert, J.

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AU - Allbrooke, B. M.M.

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N2 - 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 μ1 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 ET > 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.

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