Cumulants and correlation functions of net-proton, proton, and antiproton multiplicity distributions in Au+Au collisions at energies available at the BNL Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider

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We report a systematic measurement of cumulants, Cn, for net-proton, proton, and antiproton multiplicity distributions, and correlation functions, κn, for proton and antiproton multiplicity distributions up to the fourth order in Au+Au collisions at sNN=7.7, 11.5, 14.5, 19.6, 27, 39, 54.4, 62.4, and 200 GeV. The Cn and κn are presented as a function of collision energy, centrality and kinematic acceptance in rapidity, y, and transverse momentum, pT. The data were taken during the first phase of the Beam Energy Scan (BES) program (2010-2017) at the BNL Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) facility. The measurements are carried out at midrapidity (|y|< 0.5) and transverse momentum 0.4<pT<2.0GeV/c, using the STAR detector at RHIC. We observe a nonmonotonic energy dependence (sNN = 7.7-62.4 GeV) of the net-proton C4/C2 with the significance of 3.1σ for the 0-5% central Au+Au collisions. This is consistent with the expectations of critical fluctuations in a QCD-inspired model. Thermal and transport model calculations show a monotonic variation with sNN. For the multiparticle correlation functions, we observe significant negative values for a two-particle correlation function, κ2, of protons and antiprotons, which are mainly due to the effects of baryon number conservation. Furthermore, it is found that the four-particle correlation function, κ4, of protons plays a role in determining the energy dependence of proton C4/C1 below 19.6 GeV, which cannot be understood by the effect of baryon number conservation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number024902
JournalPhysical Review C
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank H. Elfner, S. Gupta, F. Karsch, M. Kitazawa, V. Koch, D. Mishra, J. M. Pawlowski, K. Rajagopal, K. Redlich, and M. Stephanov for stimulating discussions related to this work. We thank the RHIC Operations Group and RCF at BNL, the NERSC Center at LBNL, and the Open Science Grid consortium for providing resources and support. This work was supported in part by the Office of Nuclear Physics within the U.S. DOE Office of Science, the U.S. National Science Foundation, the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation, National Natural Science Foundation of China, Chinese Academy of Science, the Ministry of Science and Technology of China and the Chinese Ministry of Education, the Higher Education Sprout Project by Ministry of Education at NCKU, the National Research Foundation of Korea, Czech Science Foundation and Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports of the Czech Republic, Hungarian National Research, Development and Innovation Office, New National Excellency Programme of the Hungarian Ministry of Human Capacities, Department of Atomic Energy and Department of Science and Technology of the Government of India, the National Science Centre of Poland, the Ministry of Science, Education and Sports of the Republic of Croatia, RosAtom of Russia, German Bundesministerium fur Bildung, Wissenschaft, Forschung and Technologie (BMBF), Helmholtz Association, Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology (MEXT), and Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 American Physical Society.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics


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