How strange is PHOBOS? First RHIC physics results and future prospects

The PHOBOS Collaboration

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Abstract

The early summer of 2000 saw the start of the RHIC experimental programme. The PHOBOS collaboration used data from the beginning of the running period to extract the first physics information about this exciting new regime. This first measurement consisted of pseudorapidity densities of primary charged particles near mid-rapidity in central Au+Au collisions at beam energies which gave centre-of-mass energies per pair of colliding nucleons of √snn = 56 and 130 GeV. The observed densities are higher than those observed previously in any collisions in the laboratory. In addition, the rate of increase in density between the two energies is significantly larger than that for nucleon-nucleon collisions at comparable beam energies. This paper will briefly describe the PHOBOS experiment (including the subset of the full detector installed for the early period of the RHIC beam), discuss the results of the first physics measurement and conclude with the prospects for the future, especially in the area of strangeness production.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)659-669
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Physics G: Nuclear and Particle Physics
Volume27
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2001

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