Measurement of transverse single-spin asymmetries for J/psi production in polarized p plus p collisions at root s=200 GeV
We report the first measurement of transverse single-spin asymmetries in J/psi production from transversely polarized p + p collisions at root s = 200 GeV with data taken by the PHENIX experiment in 2006 and 2008. The measurement was performed over the rapidity ranges 1.2 < vertical bar y vertical bar < 2.2 and vertical bar y vertical bar < 0.35 for transverse momenta up to 6 GeV/c. J/psi production at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider is dominated by processes involving initial-state gluons, and transverse single-spin asymmetries of the J/psi can provide access to gluon dynamics within the nucleon. Such asymmetries may also shed light on the long-standing question in QCD of the J/psi production mechanism. Asymmetries were obtained as a function of J/psi transverse momentum and Feynman-x, with a value of -0.086 +/- 0.026(stat) +/- 0.003(syst) in the forward region. This result suggests possible nonzero trigluon correlation functions in transversely polarized protons and, if well defined in this reaction, a nonzero gluon Sivers distribution function.