On chemical equilibrium in nuclear collisions
INFN Sezione di Firenze, Largo E. Fermi 2, 1-50125, Firenze, Italy
2 Institut für Kernphysik, Universität Frankfurt, August-Euler-Strasse 6., D-60486, Frankfurt, Germany
3 Fakultät für Physik, Universität Bielefeld, Universitätsstr. 25, D-33615, Bielefeld, Germany
Published online: 16 September 2013
The data on average hadron multiplicities in central A+A collisions measured at CERN SPS are analysed with the ideal hadron gas model. It is shown that the full chemical equilibrium version of the model fails to describe the experimental results. The agreement of the data with the off-equilibrium version allowing for partial strangeness saturation is significantly better. The chemical freeze-out temperature of about 180 MeV seems to be independent of the system size (from S+S to Pb+Pb) and in agreement with that extracted in e+ + e−, p + p and collisions. The strangeness suppression is discussed at both hadron and valence quark level. It is found that the hadronic strangeness saturation factor γs increases from about 0.45 for p + p interactions to about 0.7 for central A+A collisions with no significant change from S+S to Pb+Pb collisions indicating that the strangeness enhancement in heavy ion collisions cannot be fully attributed to the increased system size. The quark strangeness suppression factor As is found to be about 0.2 for elementary collisions and about 0.4 for heavy ion collisions independently of collision energy and type of colliding system.
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