## Relativistic nucleus-nucleus collisions : a connection between the strangeness maximum at square root s approximately equal to 7 GeV and the QCD critical endpoint from lattice studies

- A steep maximum occurs in the Wroblewski ratio between strange and non-strange quarks created in central nucleus-nucleus collisions, of about A=200, at the lower SPS energy square root s approximately equal to 7 GeV. By analyzing hadronic multiplicities within the grand canonical statistical hadronization model this maximum is shown to occur at a baryochemical potential of about 450 MeV. In comparison, recent QCD lattice calculations at finite baryochemical potential suggest a steep maximum of the light quark susceptibility, to occur at similar mu B, indicative of "critical fluctuation" expected to occur at or near the QCD critical endpoint. This endpoint hat not been firmly pinned down but should occur in the 300 MeV < mu c B < 700 MeV interval. It is argued that central collisions within the low SPS energy range should exhibit a turning point between compression/heating, and expansion/cooling at energy density, temperature and mu B close to the suspected critical point. Whereas from top SPS to RHIC energy the primordial dynamics create a turning point far above in epsilon and T, and far below in mu B. And at lower AGS energies the dynamical trajectory stays below the phase boundary. Thus, the observed sharp strangeness maximum might coincide with the critical square root s at which the dynamics settles at, or near the QCD endpoint.