Small nuclear collisions are mainly sensitive to cold-nuclear-matter effects; however, the collective behavior observed in these collisions shows a hint of hot-nuclear-matter effects. The identified-particle spectra, especially the φ mesons which contain strange and antistrange quarks and have a relatively small hadronic-interaction cross section, are a good tool to study these effects. The PHENIX experiment has measured φ mesons in a specific set of small collision systems p+Al, p+Au, and He3+Au, as well as d+Au [Adare, Phys. Rev. C 83, 024909 (2011)0556-281310.1103/PhysRevC.83.024909], at sNN=200 GeV. The transverse-momentum spectra and nuclear-modification factors are presented and compared to theoretical-model predictions. The comparisons with different calculations suggest that quark-gluon plasma may be formed in these small collision systems at sNN=200 GeV. However, the volume and the lifetime of the produced medium may be insufficient for observing strangeness-enhancement and jet-quenching effects. The comparison with calculations suggests that the main production mechanisms of φ mesons at midrapidity may be different in p+Al versus p/d/He3+Au collisions at sNN=200 GeV. While thermal quark recombination seems to dominate in p/d/He3+Au collisions, fragmentation seems to be the main production mechanism in p+Al collisions.
|Journal||Physical Review C|
|Publication status||Published - 2022 Jul|
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
We thank the staff of the Collider-Accelerator and Physics Departments at Brookhaven National Laboratory and the staff of the other PHENIX participating institutions for their vital contributions. We acknowledge support from the Office of Nuclear Physics in the Office of Science of the Department of Energy, the National Science Foundation, Abilene Christian University Research Council, Research Foundation of SUNY, and Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, Vanderbilt University (USA), Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology and the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (Japan), Natural Science Foundation of China (People's Republic of China), Croatian Science Foundation and Ministry of Science and Education (Croatia), Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports (Czech Republic), Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Commissariat à l'Énergie Atomique, and Institut National de Physique Nucléaire et de Physique des Particules (France), J. Bolyai Research Scholarship, EFOP, the New National Excellence Program (ÚNKP), NKFIH, and OTKA (Hungary), Department of Atomic Energy and Department of Science and Technology (India), Israel Science Foundation (Israel), Basic Science Research and SRC(CENuM) Programs through NRF funded by the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Science and ICT (Korea), Ministry of Education and Science, Russian Academy of Sciences, Federal Agency of Atomic Energy (Russia), VR and Wallenberg Foundation (Sweden), University of Zambia, the Government of the Republic of Zambia (Zambia), the U.S. Civilian Research and Development Foundation for the Independent States of the Former Soviet Union, the Hungarian American Enterprise Scholarship Fund, the US-Hungarian Fulbright Foundation, and the US-Israel Binational Science Foundation.
© 2022 American Physical Society.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Nuclear and High Energy Physics