Energy dependence of pion and kaon production in central Pb+Pb collisions

S. V. Afanasiev, T. Anticic, D. Barna, J. Bartke, R. A. Barton, M. Behler, L. Betev, H. Białkowska, A. Billmeier, C. Blume, C. O. Blyth, B. Boimska, M. Botje, J. Bracinik, R. Bramm, R. Brun, P. Bunčić, V. Cerny, J. G. Cramer, P. CsatóP. Dinkelaker, V. Eckhardt, P. Filip, Z. Fodor, P. Foka, P. Freund, V. Friese, J. Gál, M. Gaździcki, G. Georgopoulos, E. Gładysz, S. Hegyi, C. Höhne, G. Igo, P. G. Jones, K. Kadija, A. Karev, V. I. Kolesnikov, T. Kollegger, M. Kowalski, I. Kraus, M. Kreps, M. Van Leeuwen, P. Lévai, A. I. Malakhov, S. Margetis, C. Markert, B. W. Mayes, G. L. Melkumov, A. Mischke, J. Molnár, J. M. Nelson, G. Pálla, A. D. Panagiotou, K. Perl, A. Petridis, M. Pikna, L. Pinsky, F. Pühlhofer, J. G. Reid, R. Renfordt, W. Retyk, C. Roland, G. Roland, A. Rybicki, T. Sammer, A. Sandoval, H. Sann, N. Schmitz, P. Seyboth, F. Siklér, B. Sitar, E. Skrzypczak, G. T.A. Squier, R. Stock, H. Ströbele, T. Susa, I. Szentpétery, J. Sziklai, T. A. Trainor, D. Varga, M. Vassiliou, G. I. Veres, G. Vesztergombi, D. Vranić, A. Wetzler, C. Whitten, I. K. Yoo, J. Zaranek, J. Zimányi

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Measurements of charged pion and kaon production in central Pb+Pb collisions at 40, 80, and 158 A GeV are presented. These are compared with data at lower and higher energies as well as with results from p+p interactions. The mean pion multiplicity per wounded nucleon increases approximately linearly with sNN1/4 with a change of slope starting in the region 15-40 A GeV. The change from pion suppression with respect to p+p interactions, as observed at low collision energies, to pion enhancement at high energies occurs at about 40A GeV. A nonmonotonic energy dependence of the ratio of K+ to π+ yields is observed, with a maximum close to 40A GeV and an indication of a nearly constant value at higher energies. The measured dependences may be related to an increase of the entropy production and a decrease of the strangeness to entropy ratio in central Pb+Pb collisions in the low SPS energy range, which is consistent with the hypothesis that a transient state of deconfined matter is created above these energies. Other interpretations of the data are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number054902
Pages (from-to)549021-549029
Number of pages9
JournalPhysical Review C - Nuclear Physics
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics

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    Afanasiev, S. V., Anticic, T., Barna, D., Bartke, J., Barton, R. A., Behler, M., Betev, L., Białkowska, H., Billmeier, A., Blume, C., Blyth, C. O., Boimska, B., Botje, M., Bracinik, J., Bramm, R., Brun, R., Bunčić, P., Cerny, V., Cramer, J. G., ... Zimányi, J. (2002). Energy dependence of pion and kaon production in central Pb+Pb collisions. Physical Review C - Nuclear Physics, 66(5), 549021-549029. [054902].