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Title: Probing QCD critical fluctuations from light nuclei production in relativistic heavy-ion collisions

Based on the coalescence model for light nuclei production, we show that the yield ratio O p-d-t = N3HNp/N$$2\atop{d}$$ of p, d, and 3H in heavy-ion collisions is sensitive to the neutron relative density fluctuation Δn = $$\langle$$(δn) 2 $$\rangle$$/ $$\langle$$n$$\rangle$$ at kinetic freeze-out. From recent experimental data in central Pb + Pb collisions at $$\sqrt{s}$$$_ {NN}$$ =6.3 GeV, 7.6 GeV, 8.8 GeV, 12.3 GeV and 17.3 GeV measured by the NA49 Collaboration at the CERN Super Proton Synchrotron (SPS), we find a possible non-monotonic behavior of Δn as a function of the collision energy with a peak at $$\sqrt{s}$$$_ {NN}$$ 8.8 GeV, indicating that the density fluctuations become the largest in collisions at this energy. With the known chemical freeze-out conditions determined from the statistical model fit to experimental data, we obtain a chemical freeze-out temperature of ~ 144 MeV and baryon chemical potential of ~385 MeV at this collision energy, which are close to the critical endpoint in the QCD phase diagram predicted by various theoretical studies. Our results thus suggest the potential usefulness of the yield ratio of light nuclei in relativistic heavy-ion collisions as a direct probe of the large density fluctuations associated with the QCD critical phenomena.
Authors:
 [1] ; ORCiD logo [1] ;  [2] ;  [3]
  1. Shanghai Jiao Tong Univ. (China). School of Physics and Astronomy and Shanghai Key Lab. for Particle Physics and Cosmology
  2. Texas A & M Univ., College Station, TX (United States). Cyclotron Inst. and Dept. of Physics and Astronomy
  3. Brookhaven National Lab. (BNL), Upton, NY (United States); Shandong Univ., Jinan (China). Key Lab. of Particle Physics and Particle Irradiation (MOE), School of Physics
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
BNL-114455-2017-JA
Journal ID: ISSN 0370-2693; R&D Project: PO 004; KB0202012; TRN: US1800590
Grant/Contract Number:
SC0012704
Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Physics Letters. Section B
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 774; Journal Issue: C; Journal ID: ISSN 0370-2693
Publisher:
Elsevier
Research Org:
Brookhaven National Lab. (BNL), Upton, NY (United States). Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Nuclear Physics (NP) (SC-26)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
73 NUCLEAR PHYSICS AND RADIATION PHYSICS; Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider
OSTI Identifier:
1413929