Year of publication
- 1992 (1) (remove)
- Metastable exotic multihypernuclear objects (1992)
- Relativistic heavy ion collisions constitute a prolific source of hyperons: tens of hyperons per event are predicted at energies E≥10 GeV/nucleon, providing a scenario for the formation of metastable exotic multihypernuclear objects. They may exhibit exceptional properties: bound neutral (e.g., 4M2Λ2n, 10M2Λ8n, pure Λ droplets, 8Λ) and even negatively charged composites objects with positive baryon number (e.g., 4M2Σ-2n, 6M2Λ2Ξ-2n) could be formed in rare events. Such negative nuclei can easily be identified in a magnetic spectrometer. They could be considerably more abundant than antinuclei of the same A. We use the relativistic meson-baryon field theory—which gives an excellent description of normal nuclear and single-Λ hypernuclear properties—to calculate the rich spectrum of such exotic objects, their stability, and their structure. We also find solutions for a large variety of bound short-lived nuclei (e.g., 8M2Λ,2Σ-2p2n), which may decay strongly via formation of cascade (Ξ) particles. Multi-Ξ hypernuclei are also evaluated. A variety of potential candidates for such metastable exotic nuclei is presented. It turns out that the properties of such exotic multihypernuclear objects reveal quite similar features as the strangelet proposed as a unique signature for quark-gluon plasma formation in heavy ion collisions.