A possible evidence of observation of two mixed phases in nuclear collisions
1 Bogolyubov Institute for Theoretical Physics of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, 03680, Kiev, Ukraine
2 FIAS, Goethe University, Ruth-Moufang Str. 1, 60438 Frankfurt upon Main, Germany
3 National Science Center “Kharkov Institute of Physics and Technology”, 61108, Kharkov, Ukraine
4 Laboratory for Information Technologies, JINR, Joliot-Curie Str. 6, Dubna 141980, Russia
Published online: 4 November 2016
Using an advanced version of the hadron resonance gas model we have found several remarkable irregularities at chemical freeze-out. The most prominent of them are two sets of highly correlated quasi-plateaus in the collision energy dependence of the entropy per baryon, total pion number per baryon, and thermal pion number per baryon which we found at center of mass energies 3.6-4.9 GeV and 7.6-10 GeV. The low energy set of quasi-plateaus was predicted a long time ago. On the basis of the generalized shockadiabat model we demonstrate that the low energy correlated quasi-plateaus give evidence for the anomalous thermodynamic properties of the mixed phase at its boundary to the quark-gluon plasma. The question is whether the high energy correlated quasi-plateaus are also related to some kind of mixed phase. In order to answer this question we employ the results of a systematic meta-analysis of the quality of data description of 10 existing event generators of nucleus-nucleus collisions in the range of center of mass collision energies from 3.1 GeV to 17.3 GeV. These generators are divided into two groups: the first group includes the generators which account for the quark-gluon plasma formation during nuclear collisions, while the second group includes the generators which do not assume the quark-gluon plasma formation in such collisions. Comparing the quality of data description of more than a hundred of different data sets of strange hadrons by these two groups of generators, we find two regions of the equal quality of data description which are located at the center of mass collision energies 4.3-4.9 GeV and 10.-13.5 GeV. These two regions of equal quality of data description we interpret as regions of the hadron-quark-gluon mixed phase formation. Such a conclusion is strongly supported by the irregularities in the collision energy dependence of the experimental ratios of the Lambda hyperon number per proton and positive kaon number per Lambda hyperon. Although at the moment it is unclear, whether these regions belong to the same mixed phase or not, there are arguments that the most probable collision energy range to probe the QCD phase diagram (tri)critical endpoint is 12-14 GeV.
© The Authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2016
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