Spin alignment of vector mesons by glasma fields

Avdhesh Kumar, Berndt Müller, Di-Lun Yang 2023 Physical Review D 108 016020

We explain how spin alignment of vector mesons can be induced by background fields, such as electromagnetic fields or soft gluon fields. Our study is based on the quantum kinetic theory of spinning quarks and antiquarks and incorporates the relaxation of the dynamically generated spin polarization. The spin density matrix of vector mesons is obtained by quark coalescence via the Wigner function and kinetic equation. Our approach predicts a local spin correlation that is distinct from the nonlocal expressions previously obtained in phenomenological derivations. We estimate the magnitude of such local correlations in the glasma model of the preequilibrium phase of relativistic heavy ion collisions. It is found that the resulting spin alignment could be greatly enhanced and may be comparable to the experimental measurement in order of magnitude. We further propose new phenomenological scenarios to qualitatively explain the transverse-momentum and centrality dependence of spin alignment in a self-consistent framework.