We examine the spin-dependence of b-quark production at large pT in polarized pp collisions. The leading-order (LO) 2 → 2 subprocesses, g + g → Q + Q and q + q → Q + Q have a large 'analyzing power', with the average spin-spin asymmetry approaching -100% at large pT. Next-to-leading order (NLO) 2 → 3 processes have a large and positive asymmetry at large pT, leading to strong cancellations with the LO predictions. The results suggest that b-quark production might constitute an interesting test of the spin-dependence of NLO QCD but they also point up the need for the complete O(α3 S spin-dependent corrections for extraction of the polarized gluon distribution.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Nuclear and High Energy Physics