Relativistic heavy ions are copious sources of virtual photons. The large photon flux gives rise to a substantial photonuclear interaction probability at impact parameters where no hadronic interactions can occur. Multiple photonuclear interactions in a single collision are possible. In this Letter, we use mutual Coulomb excitation of both nuclei as a tag for moderate-impact-parameter collisions. We calculate the cross section for coherent vector-meson production accompanied by mutual excitation and show that the median impact parameter is much smaller than for untagged production. The vector-meson rapidity and transverse-momentum distribution are very different from untagged exclusive vector-meson production.
Subject classification (UKÄ)
- Subatomic Physics