Relativistic and Ultrarelativistic Nuclear Collisions: Dynamics and Phase Transitions

A special issue of Particles (ISSN 2571-712X).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 November 2019) | Viewed by 14818

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Faculty of Physics, University of Bucharest, Bucharest, Romania
Interests: relativistic and ultrarelativistic heavy ion physics; nuclear and particle physics; astroparticle physics; applied nuclear physics
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The major experiments performed at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) from BNL, USA, as well as at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN, Geneva, Switzerland, have revealed the formation of quark–gluon plasma and significant hydrodynamic collective behavior, similar to a nearly perfect fluid. Some clarifications regarding the evolution of the Universe have been obtained. In agreement with cosmological scenarios, including Gamow's “Big Bang" scenario, the quark–gluon plasma appears a few microseconds after impact, and therefore it is possible to reproduce in the laboratory the conditions existing at that time in the Universe.

There are other interesting nuclear matter phases, and the types of possible phase transitions are very important for the study of the structure of nuclear matter and possible interactions. The current phase diagram of nuclear matter still has areas that are not fully covered by the experimental data and results. Therefore, some laboratories have made efforts to scan over a wide range of energies, using the same experimental arrangement with normalization in proton–proton collisions. There have been remarkable results from RHIC–BNL and efforts at SPS-CERN and the Tevatron (USA). There are also experimental results at lower energies, from JINR Dubna, LNBL, etc.

On the other hand, the scientific community has proposed building new and different acceleration and detector systems in order to cover other energies, especially in the phase transition region. Two projects are of great interest, namely FAIR (Facility for Antiproton and Ion Research) at GSI Darmstadt, Germany (www.gsi.de), and NICA (Nuclotron-Based Ion Collider Facility) at JINR Dubna, Russia. Both projects are now in an advanced stage, and the proposed experiments are already reaching the completion of technical design reports for the detectors.

The synthesis of the major results obtained and significant proposals of new results could aid our understanding of the unsolved fundamental problems of this very interesting field.

Therefore, the goal of this Special Issue of Particles is to offer insights into these interesting aspects, both experimental and theoretical.

Prof. Dr. Alexandru Jipa
Guest Editor

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Keywords

  • Experiments
  • Collision geometry and bulk properties
  • Collision dynamics
  • Hydrodynamics
  • Thermalization
  • Flow
  • Correlations
  • Fluctuations
  • Phase transitions
  • Nuclear matter

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

30 pages, 1271 KiB  
Article
A Study of the Properties of the QCD Phase Diagram in High-Energy Nuclear Collisions
by Xiaofeng Luo, Shusu Shi, Nu Xu and Yifei Zhang
Particles 2020, 3(2), 278-307; https://doi.org/10.3390/particles3020022 - 1 Apr 2020
Cited by 39 | Viewed by 4482
Abstract
With the aim of understanding the phase structure of nuclear matter created in high-energy nuclear collisions at finite baryon density, a beam energy scan program has been carried out at Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC). In this mini-review, most recent experimental results on [...] Read more.
With the aim of understanding the phase structure of nuclear matter created in high-energy nuclear collisions at finite baryon density, a beam energy scan program has been carried out at Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC). In this mini-review, most recent experimental results on collectivity, criticality and heavy flavor productions will be discussed. The goal here is to establish the connection between current available data and future heavy-ion collision experiments in a high baryon density region. Full article
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18 pages, 1863 KiB  
Article
Dynamical Freeze-Out Phenomena: The Case of K±, φ Transverse Momentum Spectra in Collisions of Au(1.23 A GeV) + Au
by Benjamin Rabe and Burkhard Kämpfer
Particles 2019, 2(4), 511-528; https://doi.org/10.3390/particles2040032 - 15 Dec 2019
Viewed by 2281
Abstract
We argue for a continuous (dynamical) kinetic freeze-out of K ± , ϕ observed at midrapidity in collisions of Au(1.23 A GeV) + Au. The simulations, by means of a transport model of Boltzmann-Ühling-Uhlenbeck (BUU) type, point to time independent transverse momentum slope [...] Read more.
We argue for a continuous (dynamical) kinetic freeze-out of K ± , ϕ observed at midrapidity in collisions of Au(1.23 A GeV) + Au. The simulations, by means of a transport model of Boltzmann-Ühling-Uhlenbeck (BUU) type, point to time independent transverse momentum slope parameters after 20 fm/c. The complex interplay of expansion dynamics and strangeness production/exchange/absorption as well as elastic scatterings involved in the reaction network does not support the previous interpretation of a late freeze-out of K due to larger cross sections. Full article
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12 pages, 2432 KiB  
Article
Exploring Cosmic Matter in the Laboratory—The Compressed Baryonic Matter Experiment at FAIR
by Peter Senger
Particles 2019, 2(4), 499-510; https://doi.org/10.3390/particles2040031 - 11 Dec 2019
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 4657
Abstract
The Compressed Baryonic Matter (CBM) experiment is one of four scientific pillars of the future Facility for Antiproton and Ion Research (FAIR) in Darmstadt. In collisions between heavy nuclei at FAIR energies, it is expected that the matter in the reaction zone is [...] Read more.
The Compressed Baryonic Matter (CBM) experiment is one of four scientific pillars of the future Facility for Antiproton and Ion Research (FAIR) in Darmstadt. In collisions between heavy nuclei at FAIR energies, it is expected that the matter in the reaction zone is compressed to more than five times saturation density, corresponding to the density in the core of a massive neutron star. This offers the unique opportunity to study in the laboratory the high-density equation-of-state (EOS) of nuclear matter, and to search for new phases of Quantum Chromo Dynamics (QCD) matter at large baryon-chemical potentials. Promising experimental observables sensitive to the EOS and to possible phase transitions will be discussed, together with a brief description of the CBM experiment. Full article
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10 pages, 2864 KiB  
Article
Upgrading the Baryonic Matter at the Nuclotron Experiment at NICA for Studies of Dense Nuclear Matter
by Peter Senger, Dmitrii Dementev, Johann Heuser, Mikhail Kapishin, Evgeny Lavrik, Yuri Murin, Anna Maksymchuk, Hans Rudolf Schmidt, Christian Schmidt, Anna Senger and Alexander Zinchenko
Particles 2019, 2(4), 481-490; https://doi.org/10.3390/particles2040029 - 15 Nov 2019
Cited by 18 | Viewed by 2856
Abstract
The Nuclotron at the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research in Dubna can deliver gold beams with kinetic energies between 2 and 4.5 A GeV. In heavy-ion collisions at these energies, it is expected that the nuclear fireball will be compressed by up to [...] Read more.
The Nuclotron at the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research in Dubna can deliver gold beams with kinetic energies between 2 and 4.5 A GeV. In heavy-ion collisions at these energies, it is expected that the nuclear fireball will be compressed by up to approximately four times the saturation density. This offers the opportunity to study the high-density equation-of-state (EOS) of nuclear matter in the laboratory, which is needed for our understanding of the structure of neutron stars and the dynamics of neutron star mergers. The Baryonic Matter at the Nuclotron (BM@N) experiment will be upgraded to perform multi-differential measurements of hadrons including (multi-) strange hyperons, which are promising probes of the high-density EOS, and of new phases of quantum chromodynamic (QCD) matter. The layout of the upgraded BM@N experiment and the results of feasibility studies are presented. Full article
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