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Title: Light nuclei production as a probe of the QCD phase diagram

It is generally believed that the quark-hadron transition at small values of baryon chemical potentials µ B is a crossover but changes to a first-order phase transition with an associated critical endpoint (CEP) as µ B increases. Such a µ B-dependent quark-hadron transition is expected to result in a double-peak structure in the collision energy dependence of the baryon density fluctuation in heavy-ion collisions with one at lower energy due to the spinodal instability during the first-order phase transition and another at higher energy due to the critical fluctuations in the vicinity of the CEP. By analyzing the data on the p, d and 3H yields in central heavy-ion collisions within the coalescence model for light nuclei production, we find that the relative neutron density fluctuation Δρ n = $$\langle$$(δρ n) 2$$\rangle$$/$$\langle$$ρn 2$$\rangle$$ at kinetic freeze-out indeed displays a clear peak at $$\sqrt{s}$$$_ {NN}$$ = 8.8 GeV and a possible strong re-enhancement at $$\sqrt{s}$$$_ {NN}$$ = 4.86 GeV. Thus, our findings provide a strong support for the existence of a first-order phase transition at large µ B and its critical endpoint at a smaller µ B in the temperature versus baryon chemical potential plane of the QCD phase diagram.
Authors:
 [1] ; ORCiD logo [1] ;  [2] ;  [1] ;  [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). School of Physics and Key Lab. of Particle Physics and Particle Irradiation (MOE)
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
BNL-207936-2018-JAAM
Journal ID: ISSN 0370-2693
Grant/Contract Number:
SC0012704; 11625521; 2015CB856904; 11DZ2260700; SC0015266; A-1358
Type:
Published Article
Journal Name:
Physics Letters. Section B
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 781; Journal Issue: C; Journal ID: ISSN 0370-2693
Publisher:
Elsevier
Research Org:
Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL), Upton, NY (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Nuclear Physics (NP) (SC-26); National Natural Science Foundation of China (NNSFC); National Basic Research Program of China; Welch Foundation
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
73 NUCLEAR PHYSICS AND RADIATION PHYSICS; 72 PHYSICS OF ELEMENTARY PARTICLES AND FIELDS
OSTI Identifier:
1437871
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1463859

Sun, Kai-Jia, Chen, Lie-Wen, Ko, Che Ming, Pu, Jie, and Xu, Zhangbu. Light nuclei production as a probe of the QCD phase diagram. United States: N. p., Web. doi:10.1016/j.physletb.2018.04.035.
Sun, Kai-Jia, Chen, Lie-Wen, Ko, Che Ming, Pu, Jie, & Xu, Zhangbu. Light nuclei production as a probe of the QCD phase diagram. United States. doi:10.1016/j.physletb.2018.04.035.
Sun, Kai-Jia, Chen, Lie-Wen, Ko, Che Ming, Pu, Jie, and Xu, Zhangbu. 2018. "Light nuclei production as a probe of the QCD phase diagram". United States. doi:10.1016/j.physletb.2018.04.035.
@article{osti_1437871,
title = {Light nuclei production as a probe of the QCD phase diagram},
author = {Sun, Kai-Jia and Chen, Lie-Wen and Ko, Che Ming and Pu, Jie and Xu, Zhangbu},
abstractNote = {It is generally believed that the quark-hadron transition at small values of baryon chemical potentials µB is a crossover but changes to a first-order phase transition with an associated critical endpoint (CEP) as µB increases. Such a µB-dependent quark-hadron transition is expected to result in a double-peak structure in the collision energy dependence of the baryon density fluctuation in heavy-ion collisions with one at lower energy due to the spinodal instability during the first-order phase transition and another at higher energy due to the critical fluctuations in the vicinity of the CEP. By analyzing the data on the p, d and 3H yields in central heavy-ion collisions within the coalescence model for light nuclei production, we find that the relative neutron density fluctuation Δρn = $\langle$(δρn)2$\rangle$/$\langle$ρn2$\rangle$ at kinetic freeze-out indeed displays a clear peak at $\sqrt{s}$$_ {NN}$ = 8.8 GeV and a possible strong re-enhancement at $\sqrt{s}$$_ {NN}$ = 4.86 GeV. Thus, our findings provide a strong support for the existence of a first-order phase transition at large µB and its critical endpoint at a smaller µB in the temperature versus baryon chemical potential plane of the QCD phase diagram.},
doi = {10.1016/j.physletb.2018.04.035},
journal = {Physics Letters. Section B},
number = C,
volume = 781,
place = {United States},
year = {2018},
month = {4}
}