Centrality and energy dependence of charged-particle multiplicities in heavy ion collisions in the context of elementary reactions

B. B. Back, M. D. Baker, D. S. Barton, R. R. Betts, M. Ballintijn, A. A. Bickley, R. Bindel, A. Budzanowski, W. Busza, A. Carroll, M. P. Decowski, E. García, N. George, K. Gulbrandsen, S. Gushue, C. Halliwell, J. Hamblen, G. A. Heintzelman, C. Henderson, D. J. HofmanR. S. Hollis, R. Hołyński, B. Holzman, A. Iordanova, E. Johnson, J. L. Kane, J. Katzy, N. Khan, W. Kucewicz, P. Kulinich, C. M. Kuo, W. T. Lin, S. Manly, D. McLeod, J. Michałowski, A. C. Mignerey, R. Nouicer, A. Olszewski, R. Pak, I. C. Park, H. Pernegger, C. Reed, L. P. Remsberg, M. Reuter, C. Roland, G. Roland, L. Rosenberg, J. Sagerer, P. Sarin, P. Sawicki, W. Skulski, S. G. Steadman, P. Steinberg, G. S.F. Stephans, M. Stodulski, A. Sukhanov, J. L. Tang, R. Teng, A. Trzupek, C. Vale, G. J.Van Nieuwenhuizen, R. Verdier, G. I. Veres, B. Wadsworth, F. L.H. Wolfs, B. Wosiek, K. Woźniak, A. H. Wuosmaa, B. Wysłouch

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The PHOBOS experiment at the BNL Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider has measured the total multiplicity of primary charged particles as a function of collision centrality in Au+Au collisions at sNN= 19.6, 130, and 200 GeV. An approximate independence of Nch Npart/2 on the number of participating nucleons is observed, reminiscent of "wounded nucleon" scaling (Nch Npart) observed in proton-nucleus collisions. Unlike p+A, the constant of proportionality does not seem to be set by the pp/p̄p data at the same energy. Rather, there seems to be a surprising correspondence with the total multiplicity measured in e+e- annihilations, as well as the rapidity shape measured over a large range. The energy dependence of the integrated multiplicity per participant pair shows that e+e- and A+A data agree over a large range of center-of-mass energies (s>20 GeV), and pp/p̄p data can be brought to agree approximately with the e+e- data by correcting for the typical energy taken away by leading particles. This is suggestive of a mechanism for soft particle production that depends mainly on the amount of available energy. It is conjectured that the dominant distinction between A+A and p+p collisions is the multiple collisions per participant, which appears to be sufficient to substantially reduce the energy taken away by leading particles.

Original languageEnglish
Article number021902
JournalPhysical Review C - Nuclear Physics
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2006


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