We evaluate the strength of rapidity correlations as measured by bin-averaged multiplicity moments for hadron-hadron, hadron-nucleus, and nucleus-nucleus collisions for comparable c.m. energies s 20 GeV. The strength of the correlation decreases rapidly with increasing complexity of the reaction. Although statistically significant cumulant moments, K2, K3, and K4 are found in hadron-hadron (NA22) collisions, higher moments are strongly suppressed (except for K3 in KLM Collaboration proton-emulsion data) when nuclei are involved. When ordinary factorial moments are decomposed into cumulant moments, the former are seen to be dominated by combinatoric contributions of the (experimentally determined) cumulant moment K2. Hence rapidity fluctuations and intermittent effects are significantly decreased by the use of nuclei as targets and/or projectiles. This result could possibly be reversed at the onset (at higher energy) of a new phase having strong fluctuations, for example, the long-sought quark-gluon plasma.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Nuclear and High Energy Physics