Correlation probes of a QCD critical point

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Abstract

Critical opalescence is a characteristic experimental signature of a second order phase transition in solid state physics. A new, experimentally accessible measure of opacity and of attenuation length in heavy ion reactions is suggested, as a combination of HBT radii and nuclear modification factors. This opacity is maximal when √SNN the system size and centrality correspond to the critical point of QCD. To characterize the phase transition at this critical point, the critical exponent of the correlation function can be determined by measuring the Lévy index of stability of the Bose-Einstein or HBT correlations. The exponent of the correlation length can be determined from fits to the multiplicity distribution in various pseudorapidity intervals, also as a function of colliding energy, system size, centrality and (chemical) freeze-out temperature. These two critical exponents determine the remaining four critical exponents and the universality class of this second order phase transition. As a control experiment, the determination of the critical exponent of the specific heat capacity is proposed, from event-by-event fluctuation measurements. To measure opacity precisely, well calibrated high transverse momentum probes are needed, such as given by the excitation function of γ + jet correlation functions.

Original languageEnglish
JournalProceedings of Science
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2008
Event3rd International Workshop on High-pT Physics at LHC, HIGH-pTLHC 2008 - Tokaj, Hungary
Duration: Mar 16 2008Mar 19 2008

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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