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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 1, 2024
  2. Abstract Partons traversing the strongly interacting medium produced in heavy-ion collisions are expected to lose energy depending on their color charge and mass. We measure the nuclear modification factors for charm- and bottom-decay electrons, defined as the ratio of yields, divided by the number of binary nucleon–nucleon collisions, in $$\sqrt{s_{\textrm{NN}}}=200$$ s NN = 200 GeV Au+Au collisions to p + p collisions ( $$R_{\textrm{AA}}$$ R AA ), or in central to peripheral Au+Au collisions ( $$R_{\textrm{CP}}$$ R CP ). We find the bottom-decay electron $$R_{\textrm{AA}}$$ R AA and $$R_{\textrm{CP}}$$ R CP to be significantly higher than those of charm-decay electrons. Model calculations including mass-dependent parton energy loss in a strongly coupled medium are consistent with the measured data. These observations provide evidence of mass ordering of charm and bottom quark energy loss when traversing through the strongly coupled medium created in heavy-ion collisions. 
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