Quarks and gluons are the fundamental constituents of nucleons. Their interactions rather than their mass are responsible for
of the mass of all visible matter in the universe. Measuring the fundamental properties of matter has had a large impact on our understanding of the nucleon structure and it has given us decades of research and technological innovation. Despite the large number of discoveries made, many fundamental questions remain open and in need of a new and more precise generation of measurements. The future Electron Ion Collider (EIC) will be a machine dedicated to hadron structure research. It will study the content of protons and neutrons in a largely unexplored regime in which gluons are expected to dominate and eventually saturate. While the EIC will be the machine of choice to quantify this regime, recent surprising results from the heavy ion community have begun to exhibit similar signatures as those expected from a regime dominated by gluons. Many of the heavy ion results that will be discussed in this document highlight the kinematic limitations of hadron–hadron and hadron–nucleus collisions. The reliability of using as a reference proton–proton (pp) and proton–ion (pA) collisions to quantify and disentangle vacuum and Cold Nuclear Matter (CNM) effects from those proceeding from a Quark Gluon Plasma (QGP) may be under question. A selection of relevant pp and pA results which highlight the need of an EIC will be presented.
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