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- Energy and system size dependence of Xi- and anti-Xi+ production in relativistic heavy-ion collisions at the CERN SPS (2007)
- The strong nuclear force is described by Quantum Chromodynamics (QCD), the parallel field theory to Quantum Electrodynamics (QED) that describes the electromagnetic force. It is propagated by gluons analogously to photons in the electromagnetic force, but unlike photons, which do not carry electric charge, gluons carry color, and they can self-interact. However, as individual quarks have never been observed in nature, it is postulated that the color charge itself is confined, and hence all baryons and mesons must be colorless objects. To study nuclear matter under extreme conditions, it is necessary to create hot and dense nuclear matter in the laboratory. In such conditions the confinement between quarks and gluons is cancelled (deconfinement). This state is characterized with a qusi-free behavior of quarks and gluons. The strange (s) and anti-strange (anti-s) quarks are not contained in the colliding nuclei, but are newly produced and show up in the strange hadrons in the final state. It was suggested that strange particle production is enhanced in the QGP with respect to that in a hadron gas. This enhancement is relative to a collision where a transition to a QGP phase does not take place, such as p+p collisions where the system size is very small. Therefore the energy- and system size dependence is studied to receive a picture about the initial state. In this thesis experimental results on the energy- and system size dependence of Xi hyperon production at the CERN SPS is shown. All measurements were performed with the NA49 detector at the CERN SPS. NA49 took central lead-lead collisions from 20 - 158 AGeV, minimus bias lead-lead collisions at 40 and 158 AGeV, and semi-central silicon-silicon colisions at 158 AGeV. The NA49 experiment features a large acceptance in the forward hemisphere allowing for measurements of Xi rapidity spectra. At the SPS accelerator at CERN Pb+Pb collisions are performed with beam energies to 158 AGeV. The analyzed data sets were taken in the period from 1999 to 2002. The NA49 experiment is a large acceptance hadron spectrometer, which measures charged hadrons in a wide acceptance. The main components are the four TPCs (Time Projection Chamber). The centrality of nucleon-nucleon collisions was done by measuring the not in the collision participating (spectator-) nucleons in the VETO-calorimeter. The study of strangeness is motivated by its role as a signature for the Quark Gluon Plasma. Any enhancement in the yield must be with respect to a ’normal’ yield, where a QGP is not formed. This is usually taken to mean suitably scaled p+p collisions, where the volume of the system created is too small for a QGP to occur. The results at SPS and RHIC energies show an enhancement, with the doubly strange Xi? being enhanced more than the Lambda, in accordance with the original prediction. However, the enhancement at SPS energies is higher than at RHIC energies.
- Evidence for an exotic S=-2, Q=-2 baryon resonance in proton-proton collisions at the CERN SPS (2004)
- Results of resonance searches in the Xi - pi -, Xi - pi +, Xi -bar+ pi -, and Xi -bar+ pi + invariant mass spectra in proton-proton collisions at sqrt[s]=17.2 GeV are presented. Evidence is shown for the existence of a narrow Xi - pi - baryon resonance with mass of 1.862±0.002 GeV/c2 and width below the detector resolution of about 0.018 GeV/c2. The significance is estimated to be above 4.2 sigma . This state is a candidate for the hypothetical exotic Xi --3/2 baryon with S=-2, I=3 / 2, and a quark content of (dsdsu-bar). At the same mass, a peak is observed in the Xi - pi + spectrum which is a candidate for the Xi 03/2 member of this isospin quartet with a quark content of (dsusd-bar). The corresponding antibaryon spectra also show enhancements at the same invariant mass.
- Multistrange hyperon production in Pb + Pb collisions at 30, 40, 80 and 158 A GeV (2003)
- A non-monotonic energy dependence of the K + / pi + ratio with a sharp maximum close to 30 A GeV is observed in central Pb+Pb collisions. Within a statistical model of the early stage, this is interpreted as a sign of the phase transition to a QGP, which causes a sharp change in the energy dependence of the strangeness to entropy ratio. This observation naturally motivates us to study the production of multistrange hyperons (Xi, Omega) as a function of the beam energy. Furthermore it was suggested that the kinematic freeze-out of Omega takes place directly at QGP hadronization. If this is indeed the case, the transverse momentum spectra of the Omega directly reflect the transverse expansion velocity of a hadronizing QGP. In this report we show preliminary NA49 results on Omega - and Omega + production in central Pb+Pb collisions at 40 and 158 A GeV and compare them to measurements of Xi - and Xi + production in central Pb+Pb collisions at 30, 40, 80 and 158 A GeV.
- Energy and centrality dependence of deuteron and proton production in Pb+Pb collisions at relativistic energies (2004)
- The transverse mass mt distributions for deuterons and protons are measured in Pb+Pb reactions near midrapidity and in the range 0<mt–m<1.0 (1.5) GeV/c2 for minimum bias collisions at 158A GeV and for central collisions at 40 and 80 A GeV beam energies. The rapidity density dn/dy, inverse slope parameter T and mean transverse mass <mt> derived from mt distributions as well as the coalescence parameter B2 are studied as a function of the incident energy and the collision centrality. The deuteron mt spectra are significantly harder than those of protons, especially in central collisions. The coalescence factor B2 shows three systematic trends. First, it decreases strongly with increasing centrality reflecting an enlargement of the deuteron coalescence volume in central Pb+Pb collisions. Second, it increases with mt. Finally, B2 shows an increase with decreasing incident beam energy even within the SPS energy range. The results are discussed and compared to the predictions of models that include the collective expansion of the source created in Pb+Pb collisions.