Measurement of (anti)alpha production in central Pb-Pb collisions at $\sqrt{s_{\rm NN}}$ = 5.02 TeV

ALICE Collaboration
Nuclear Experiment, Nuclear Experiment (nucl-ex), High Energy Physics - Experiment (hep-ex)
2023-11-20 00:00:00
In this letter, measurements of (anti)alpha production in central (0$-$10%) Pb$-$Pb collisions at a center-of-mass energy per nucleon$-$nucleon pair of $\sqrt{s_{\rm NN}}$ = 5.02 TeV are presented, including the first measurement of an antialpha transverse-momentum spectrum. Owing to its large mass, (anti)alpha production yields and transverse-momentum spectra are of particular interest because they provide a stringent test of particle production models. The averaged antialpha and alpha spectrum is included into a common blast-wave fit with lighter particles, indicating that the (anti)alpha also participates in the collective expansion of the medium created in the collision. A blast-wave fit including only protons, (anti)alpha, and other light nuclei results in a similar flow velocity as the fit that includes all particles. A similar flow velocity, but a significantly larger kinetic freeze-out temperature is obtained when only protons and light nuclei are included in the fit. The coalescence parameter $B_4$ is well described by calculations from a statistical hadronization model but significantly underestimated by calculations assuming nucleus formation via coalescence of nucleons. Similarly, the (anti)alpha-to-proton ratio is well described by the statistical hadronization model. On the other hand, coalescence calculations including approaches with different implementations of the (anti)alpha substructure tend to underestimate the data.
PDF: Measurement of (anti)alpha production in central Pb-Pb collisions at $\sqrt{s_{\rm NN}}$ = 5.02 TeV.pdf
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