- Doctoral Thesis (1) (remove)
- Antinuclei production in central Au-Au collisions at RHIC (2003)
- This thesis presented the measurement of antideuteron and antihelium-3 production in central AuAu collisions at V SNN = 200 GeV center-of-mass energy at RHIC. The analysis is based on STAR data, about 3 x 10 high 6 events at top 10% centrality. Within the data sample a total number of about 5000 antideuterons and 193 antihelium-3 were observed in the STARTPC at mid-rapidity. The specific energy loss measurement in the TPC provides antideuteron identification only in a small momentum window, antihelium-3 however can be identified nearly background free with almost complete momentum range coverage. Following the statistical analysis of the hadronic composition at chemical freeze-out of the fireball, the antinuclei abundances were analyzed in terms of the same statistical description. Now applied to the clusterization of the fireball, the statistical analysis yields a fireball temperature of (135+-10) MeV and chemical potential of (5+-10) MeV at kinetic freeze-out. In the same way as the hadronization, the clusterization process is phase-space dominated and clusters are born into a state of maximum entropy. The large sample of observed antihelium-3 allowed for the first time in heavy-ion physics to calculate a differential multiplicity and invariant cross section as a function of transverse momentum. As expected, the collective transverse flow in the fireball flattens the shape of the transverse momentum spectrum and leads to the high inverse slope parameter of (950+-140) MeV of the antihelium-3 spectrum. With the extracted mean transverse momentum of antihelium-3, the collective flow velocity in transverse direction could be estimated. As the average thermal velocity is small compared to the mean collective flow velocity for heavy particles, the mean transverse momentum of antihelium-3 by itself constrains the flow velocity. Here, a simple ideal-gas approximation was fitted to the distribution of the mean transverse momentum as a function of particle mass and provided direct access to the kinetic freeze-out temperature and the flow velocity. A concept, which is complementary to the combined analysis of momentum spectra and two-particle HBT correlation methods commonly used to extract these parameters, and a cross check for the statistical analysis. The upper limit for the transverse collective flow velocity from the antihelium-3 measurement alone is v flow <= (0.68+-0.06)c, whereas the ideal-gas approximation yields a temperature of (130+-40) MeV and v flow = (0.46+-0.08)c. The results indicate, that the kinetic freeze-out conditions at SPS and RHIC are very similar, except for a smaller baryon chemical potential at RHIC. The simultaneous inclusive measurement of antiprotons allowed to study the cluster production in terms of the coalescence picture. With the large momentum coverage of the antihelium-3 momentum spectrum, the coalescence parameter could be calculated as a function of transverse momentum. Due to the difference between antiproton and antihelium-3 inverse slopes, increases with increasing transverse momentum - again a direct consequence of collective transverse flow. Both B2 and B3 follow the common behavior of decreasing coalescence parameters as a function of collision energy. According to the simple thermodynamic coalescence model, this indicates an increasing freeze-out volume for higher energies and is confirmed by the interpretation of the coalescence parameters in the framework of Scheibl and Heinz. Their model includes a dynamically expanding source in a quantum mechanical description of the coalescence process and expresses the coalescence parameter as a function of the homogeneity volume V hom accessible also in two-particle HBT correlation analyzes. The values for the antideuteron and antihelium-3 results agree well with the homogeneity volume from pion-pion correlations, but do not seem to follow the same transverse mass dependence. A comparison with proton-proton correlations may clarify this point and provide an important cross check for this analysis. Compared to SPS the homogeneity volume increases nearly by a factor of two. The analysis of the antinuclei emission at RHIC allowed to study the kinetic freeze-out of the created fireball. The results show, that the temperature and mean transverse velocity in the expanding system does not change significantly, when the collision energy increases by one order of magnitude. Only the source volume, i.e. the homogeneity volume, increases. That leaves open questions for the theoreticians to the details of the system evolution from the initial hot and dense phase - the initial energy density is a factor of two to three higher at RHIC than at SPS - to the final kinetic freeze-out with similar conditions. At the same time, the results are important constraints for the theoretical descriptions. The successful implementation of the Level-3 trigger system in STAR opens the door for the measurement of very rare signals. Indeed, in the coalescence physics perspective, the first observations of anti-alpha 4 He nuclei and antihypertritons 3/Delta H will come within the reach of STAR, in addition to a high statistics sample of antihelium-3.