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Welcome to "Odderon Searches at RHIC"
Motivation & Plans
The Odderon, a charge-conjugation-odd partner of the Pomeron, has been a puzzle ever since its introduction in 1973. The Pomeron describes a colorless exchange with vacuum quantum numbers in the t-channel of hadronic scattering at high energies. The concept was originally formulated for the non-perturbative regime of Quantum Chromodynamics (QCD). In perturbation theory, the simplest picture of the Pomeron is that of a two-gluon exchange process, whereas an Odderon can be thought of as an exchange of three gluons. Both the Pomeron and the Odderon are expected in QCD. However, while there exists plenty of experimental data that could be successfully described by Pomeron exchanges (for example in electron-proton and hadron-hadron scattering at high energies), no experimental sign of the Odderon has been observed. One of the very few hints so far is the difference in the diffractive minima of elastic proton-proton and proton-antiproton scattering measured at the ISR.
The Odderon has recently received renewed attention by QCD researchers, mainly for two reasons. First, RHIC has entered the scene, offering exciting unique new opportunities for Odderon searches. RHIC provides collisions of nuclei as well as of protons at center-of-mass energies far exceeding those at all previous experiments. In addition, it also has the unique feature that polarization for the proton beams is available, promising to become a crucial tool in Odderon searches. Indeed, theorists have proposed possible signatures of the Odderon in some spin asymmetries measurable at RHIC. Qualitatively unique signals should be seen in these if the Odderon coupling is large. Another place to look for the Odderon in pp scattering at RHIC might be reactions like pp → pMxp, where Mx is a heavy vector meson with odd C-parity.
Secondly, the Odderon has recently been shown to naturally emerge from the Color Glass Condensate (CGC) Theory, a theory for the high-energy limit of QCD. It has been argued that saturation/CGC effects tend to decrease the Odderon intercept, possibly providing an explanation for the lack of experimental evidence for the Odderon so far. This has added further motivation for pursuing searches for the Odderon.
The goal of the workshop is to review the status of the Odderon in QCD and its phenomenology, and to discuss possibilities for Odderon searches at RHIC with its nuclear and polarized proton beams.
Last Modified: February 5, 2008