Second virial coefficients of light nuclear clusters and their chemical freeze-out in nuclear collisions

Abstract

Here we develop a new strategy to analyze the chemical freeze-out of light (anti)nuclei produced in high energy collisions of heavy atomic nuclei within an advanced version of the hadron resonance gas model. It is based on two different, but complementary approaches to model the hard-core repulsion between the light nuclei and hadrons. The first approach is based on an approximate treatment of the equivalent hard-core radius of a roomy nuclear cluster and pions, while the second approach is rigorously derived here using a self-consistent treatment of classical excluded volumes of light (anti)nuclei and hadrons. By construction, in a hadronic medium dominated by pions, both approaches should give the same results. Employing this strategy to the analysis of hadronic and light (anti)nuclei multiplicities measured by ALICE at \(\sqrt{s_{NN}} =2.76\) TeV and by STAR at \(\sqrt{s_{NN}} =200\) GeV, we got rid of the existing ambiguity in the description of light (anti)nuclei data and determined the chemical freeze-out parameters of nuclei with high accuracy and confidence. At ALICE energy the nuclei are frozen prior to the hadrons at the temperature \(T = 175.1^{+2.3}_{-3.9}\) MeV, while at STAR energy there is a single freeze-out of hadrons and nuclei at the temperature \(T = 167.2 \pm 3.9\) MeV. We argue that the found chemical freeze-out volumes of nuclei can be considered as the volumes of quark-gluon bags that produce the nuclei at the moment of hadronization.

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Acknowledgements

The authors are thankful to Dmytro Oliinychenko for brining to our attention Ref. [44] and for illuminating discussions, and to Grigory Nigmatkulov and Ivan Yakimenko for the valuable comments. K.A.B. and G.M.Z. acknowledge support from the NAS of Ukraine by its priority project “Fundamental properties of the matter in the relativistic collisions of nuclei and in the early Universe” (No. 0120U100935). V.V.S. and O.I.I. are thankful for the support by the Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia (FCT), Portugal, by the project UID/04564/2020. The work of O.I.I. was supported by the project CENTRO-01-0145-FEDER-000014 via the CENTRO 2020 program, and POCI-01-0145-FEDER-029912 with financial support from POCI, in its FEDER component and by the FCT/ MCTES budget via national funds (OE). The work of L.V.B. and E.E.Z. was supported by the Norwegian Research Council (NFR) under grant No. 255253/ F53 CERN Heavy Ion Theory, and by the Russian Foundation for Basic Research (RFBR) grants 18-02-40085 and 18-02-40084. K.A.B., O.V.V., N.S. Ya. and L.V.B. thank the Norwegian Agency for International Cooperation and Quality Enhancement in Higher Education for the financial support under grants CPEA-LT-2016/10094 and UTF-2016-long-term/10076. A.V.T acknowledges partial support from RFBR under grant No.18-02-40086 and from the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation, Project “Fundamental properties of elementary particles and cosmology” No. 0723-2020-0041. D.B.B. received funding from the RFBR under grant No. 18-02-40137. D.B.B. and A.V.T. acknowledge partial support from the National Research Nuclear University “MEPhI” in the framework of the Russian Academic Excellence Project (contract no. 02.a03.21.0005, 27. 08.2013). The authors are grateful to the COST Action CA15213 “THOR” for supporting their networking.

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KAB developed the idea behind this work and together with DBB took the lead in writing the manuscript. OVV, BEG, VVS and ESZ performed fit of the experimental data on the light (anti)nuclei and hadrons. OII, NSY and EGN verified the analytical methods. Both NSY and SVK, helped in calculating the CFO volume of hadrons and designed the figures. GMZ, LVB, EEZ, SK, GRF and AVT contributed to the interpretation of the results and provided a critical feedback. All authors discussed the results and contributed to the final manuscript.

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Correspondence to K. A. Bugaev.

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Communicated by Laura Tolos.

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Bugaev, K.A., Vitiuk, O.V., Grinyuk, B.E. et al. Second virial coefficients of light nuclear clusters and their chemical freeze-out in nuclear collisions. Eur. Phys. J. A 56, 293 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1140/epja/s10050-020-00296-5

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