Regular Article – Theoretical Physics
Do small systems equilibrate chemically?
Institut für Kernphysik, Darmstadt University of Technology, 64289, Darmstadt, Germany
2 Institute of Theoretical Physics, University of Wrocław, 45204, Wrocław, Poland
* e-mail: Ingrid.Kraus@cern.ch
Published online: 21 October 2006
Considering particle production in heavy-ion collisions, a particular role has been attributed to strange particles because strangeness was predicted to be a sensitive probe of the properties of QCD matter. The statistical model is very successful in describing the chemical composition of the final state of collisions over a wide range of incident energies. However, without an additional strangeness undersaturation factor, γS, hadron gas models hardly reproduce the data from small colliding systems nor from reactions at the smaller collision energies. Here we investigate the influence of an alternative assumption, exact strangeness conservation in small subvolumes of the fireball, on the model predictions. Therefore, we introduce strangeness equilibrated subvolumes. The canonical strangeness suppression in these correlated clusters accounts successfully for the smaller production of strange particles. The system size dependence of the correlation volume and of the thermal parameters are presented.
© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg, 2007