Neutral pion cross section and spin asymmetries at intermediate pseudorapidity in polarized proton collisions at √s=200 GeV
The differential cross section and spin asymmetries for neutral pions produced within the intermediate pseudorapidity range 0.8<η<2.0 in polarized proton-proton collisions at √s=200 GeV are presented. Neutral pions were detected using the end cap electromagnetic calorimeter in the STAR detector at RHIC. The cross section was measured over a transverse momentum range of 5<pT<16 GeV/c and is found to agree with a next-to-leading order perturbative QCD calculation. The longitudinal double-spin asymmetry ALL is measured in the same pseudorapidity range and spans a range of Bjorken-x down to x≈0.01. The measured ALL is consistent with model predictions for varying degrees of gluon polarization. The parity-violating asymmetry AL is also measured and found to be consistent with zero. The transverse single-spin asymmetry AN is measured over a previously unexplored kinematic range in Feynman-x and pT. Such measurements may aid our understanding of the onset and kinematic dependence of the large asymmetries observed at more forward pseudorapidity (η≈3) and their underlying mechanisms. The AN results presented are consistent with a twist-3 model prediction of a small asymmetry over the present kinematic range.