Deuteron and antideuteron coalescence in heavy-ion collisions: energy dependence of the formation geometry


We investigate the collision energy dependence of deuteron and antideuteron emission in the RHIC-BES low- to mid-energy range \(\sqrt{s_{NN}}\) = 4.6–200 GeV where the formation rate of antinuclei compared to nuclei is strongly suppressed. In the coalescence picture, this can be understood as bulk emission for nuclei in contrast to surface emission for antinuclei. By comparison with experimental data on the coalescence parameter \(B_2\), we are able to extract the respective source geometries. This interpretation is further supported by results from the UrQMD transport model, and establishes the following picture: At low energies, nucleons freeze out over the total fireball volume, while antinucleons are annihilated inside the nucleon-rich fireball and can only freeze out on its surface. Towards higher energies, this annihilation effect becomes less significant because of the enhanced meson production in the reaction. Thus, the nucleon and antinucleon freeze-out distributions become similar with increasing energy.

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Data Availability Statement

This manuscript has no associated data or the data will not be deposited. [Authors’ comment: The datasets generated during and/or analysed during the current study are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request.]


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    Please note that this form differs from the one given in [21] which contained a minor mistake.

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    We thank S. Mrówczyński for pointing out to us that the coalescence model can include a finite formation time [17, 33].


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We thank S. Mrówczyński for fruitful comments. This work was supported by the Development and Promotion of Science and Technology Talents Project (DPST)-Royal Thai Government Scholarship, Suranaree University of Technology (SUT), the Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst (DAAD), the Stiftung Polytechnische Gesellschaft Frankfurt am Main, the Helmholtz International Center for FAIR (HIC for FAIR) within the LOEWE program launched by the State of Hesse, and the COST Action CA15213 (THOR). The computational resources were provided by the Center for Scientific Computing (CSC) at the Goethe-Universität Frankfurt. We would also like to express our gratitude to our colleagues in Frankfurt and at SUT for their hospitality, enthusiastic engagement in the discussions and valuable suggestions.

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Correspondence to Apiwit Kittiratpattana.

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Communicated by Laura Tolos.

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Kittiratpattana, A., Wondrak, M.F., Hamzic, M. et al. Deuteron and antideuteron coalescence in heavy-ion collisions: energy dependence of the formation geometry. Eur. Phys. J. A 56, 274 (2020).

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