EUROPEAN PHYSICAL JOURNAL C, vol.78, no.8, 2018 (SCI-Expanded)
Neutral pion and eta meson invariant differential yields were measured in non-single diffractive p-Pb collisions at root S-NN = 5.02 TeV with the ALICE experiment at the CERN LHC. The analysis combines results from three complementary photon measurements, utilizing the PHOS and EMCal calorimeters and the Photon Conversion Method. The invariant differential yields of pi(0) and eta meson inclusive production are measured near mid-rapidity in a broad transverse momentum range of 0.3 < p(T) < 20 GeV/c and 0.7 < p(T) < 20 GeV/c, respectively. The measured eta/pi(0) ratio increases with p(T) and saturates for p(T) > 4 GeV/c at 0.483 +/- 0.015(stat) +/- 0.015(sys). A deviation from m(T) scaling is observed for p(T) < 2 GeV/c. The measured eta/pi(0) ratio is consistent with previous measurements from proton-nucleus and pp collisions over the full pi range. The measured eta/pi(0) ratio at high p(T) also agrees within uncertainties with measurements from nucleus nucleus collisions. The pi(0) and eta yields in p-Pb relative to the scaled pp interpolated reference, R-pPb, are presented for 0.3 < p(T) < 20 GeV/c and 0.7 < p(T) < 20 GeV/c, respectively. The results are compared with theoretical model calculations. The values of R-pPb are consistent with unity for transverse momenta above 2 GeV/c. These results support the interpretation that the suppressed yield of neutral mesons measured in Pb-Pb collisions at LHC energies is due to parton energy loss in the hot QCD medium.