After a brief survey of the remarkable accomplishments of the current heavy ion collision experiments up to 200A GeV, we address in depth the role of strange particle production in the search for new phases of matter in these collisions. In particular, we show that the observed enhancement pattern of otherwise rarely produced multistrange antibaryons can be consistently explained assuming color deconfinement in a localized, rapidly disintegrating hadronic source. We develop the theoretical description of this source, and in particular study QCD based processes of strangeness production in the deconfined, thermal quark-gluon plasma phase, allowing for approach to chemical equilibrium and dynamical evolution. We also address thermal charm production. Using a rapid hadronization model we obtain final state particle yields, providing detailed theoretical predictions about strange particle spectra and yields as functions of heavy ion energy. Our presentation is comprehensive and self-contained: we introduce the procedures used in data interpretation in considerable detail, discuss the particular importance of selected experimental results, and show how they impact the theoretical developments.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||104|
|Journal||Acta Physica Polonica B|
|State||Published - Dec 1 1996|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)