Current pQCD calculations for the energy loss of a hard parton moving through a medium of thermalized static scattering centres are inapplicable to the small colliding systems (such as p/d +A) that have, in recent years, hinted at the presence of tiny droplets of QGP through the presence of collective behaviour, strangeness enhancement and quarkonium suppression. The well-known DGLV, ASW, BDMPS-Z, AMY and HT calculations all exploit both the large separation distance (between scattering centre and radiation) and the large system approximations. We relax the large system assumption and recompute the energy loss in the DGLV formalism in order to address the glaring lack of theoretical control over small-system energy loss. Alarmingly, we find that the correction terms dominate at large energies, resulting in ~100% negative correction, calling into question the validity of the large formation time assumption used in all pQCD-based energy loss calculations. Our results demand a complete overhaul of pQCD-based energy-loss calculations for all system sizes.
|Preferred Track||QCD in small systems|