Coherence time in high energy proton-nucleus collisions

Charles Gale, Sangyong Jeon, Joseph Kapusta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Precisely measured Drell-Yan cross sections for 800 GeV protons incident on a variety of nuclear targets exhibit a deviation from linear scaling in the atomic number A. We show that this deviation can be accounted for by energy degradation of the proton as it passes through the nucleus if account is taken of the time delay of particle production due to quantum coherence. We infer an average proper coherence time of 0.4 ± 0.1 fm/c, corresponding to a coherence path length of 8 ± 2 fm in the rest frame of the nucleus.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1636-1639
Number of pages4
JournalPhysical review letters
Issue number8
StatePublished - 1999


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