Deduction of the in-medium gluon distribution from photon-gluon fusion processes in peripheral ultrarelativistic heavy-ion collisions
The photon-gluon fusion process into a pair of heavy quarks is studied for peripheral Pb+Pb collisions at Large Hadron Collider (LHC) energies. The double differential cross section with respect to the invariant mass and the rapidity of the produced quark pair at zero rapidity is directly proportional to the gluon distribution in the nuclear medium. Differential cross sections for the [ital b]-quark production lie well in the [mu]b/GeV regime which will allow the deduction of the gluon distribution at low [ital x]. Rapidity cuts for the actual detectors are also considered.