Creation of strange-quark-matter droplets as a unique signature for quark-gluon plasma formation in relativistic heavy-ion collisions

  • We demonstrate that strangeness separates in the Gibbs-phase coexistence between a baryon-rich quark-gluon plasma and hadron matter, even at T=0. For finite temperatures this is due to the associated production of kaons (containing s¯ quarks) in the hadron phase while s quarks remain in the deconfined phase. The s-s¯ separation results in a strong enhancement of the s-quark abundance in the quark phase. This mechanism is further supported by cooling and net strangeness enrichment due to the prefreezeout evaporation of pions and K+, K0, which carry away entropy and anti- strangeness from the system. Metastable droplets (i.e., stable as far as weak interactions are not regarded) of strange-quark matter (‘‘strangelets’’) can thus be formed during the phase transition. Such cool, compact, long-lived clusters could be experimentally observed by their unusually small Z/A ratio (≤0.1–0.3). Even if the strange-quark-matter phase is not stable under strong interactions, it should be observable by the delayed correlated emission of several hyperons. This would serve as a unique signature for the transient formation of a quark-gluon plasma.

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Author:Carsten GreinerGND, Dirk-Hermann RischkeORCiDGND, Horst StöckerORCiDGND, Peter Koch
Parent Title (German):Physical review D
Document Type:Article
Year of Completion:2006
Year of first Publication:1988
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2006/06/06
Page Number:11
First Page:2797
Last Page:2807
Source:Physical Review : D; 38.1988,9 S. 2797-2807
Institutes:Physik / Physik
Dewey Decimal Classification:5 Naturwissenschaften und Mathematik / 53 Physik / 530 Physik
PACS-Classification:10.00.00 THE PHYSICS OF ELEMENTARY PARTICLES AND FIELDS (for experimental methods and instrumentation for elementary-particle physics, see section 29) / 12.00.00 Specific theories and interaction models; particle systematics / 12.38.-t Quantum chromodynamics; Quarks, gluons, and QCD in nuclear reactions, see 24.85.+p / 12.38.Mh Quark-gluon plasma (see also 25.75.Nq Quark deconfinement, quark-gluon plasma production and phase transitions in relativistic heavy ion collisions; see also 21.65.Qr Quark matter)
Licence (German):License LogoDeutsches Urheberrecht