Nonmonotonic Energy Dependence of Net-Proton Number Fluctuations

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Nonmonotonic variation with collision energy (sNN) of the moments of the net-baryon number distribution in heavy-ion collisions, related to the correlation length and the susceptibilities of the system, is suggested as a signature for the quantum chromodynamics critical point. We report the first evidence of a nonmonotonic variation in the kurtosis times variance of the net-proton number (proxy for net-baryon number) distribution as a function of sNN with 3.1 σ significance for head-on (central) gold-on-gold (Au+Au) collisions measured solenoidal tracker at Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider. Data in noncentral Au+Au collisions and models of heavy-ion collisions without a critical point show a monotonic variation as a function of sNN.

Original languageEnglish
Article number092301
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number9
StatePublished - Mar 5 2021

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© 2021 American Physical Society.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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