Mass dependence of vector meson photoproduction off protons and nuclei within the energy-dependent hot-spot model
We study the photoproduction of vector mesons off proton and off nuclear targets. We work within the colour dipole model in an approach that includes subnucleon degrees of freedom, so-called hot spots, whose positions in the impact-parameter plane change event-by-event. The key feature of our model is that the number of hot spots depends on the energy of the photon-target interaction. Predictions are presented for exclusive and dissociative production of ρ0, J / ψ, and ϒ (1 S) off protons, as well as for coherent and incoherent photoproduction of ρ0 off nuclear targets, where Xe, Au, and Pb nuclei are considered. We find that the mass dependence of dissociative production off protons as a function of the energy of the interaction provides a further handle to search for saturation effects at HERA, the LHC and future colliders. We also find that the coherent photonuclear production of ρ0 is sensitive to fluctuations in the subnucleon degrees of freedom at RHIC and LHC energies.