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  1. A bstract Understanding the production mechanism of light (anti)nuclei is one of the key challenges of nuclear physics and has important consequences for astrophysics, since it provides an input for indirect dark-matter searches in space. In this paper, the latest results about the production of light (anti)nuclei in pp collisions at $$ \sqrt{s} $$ s = 13 TeV are presented, focusing on the comparison with the predictions of coalescence and thermal models. For the first time, the coalescence parameters B 2 for deuterons and B 3 for helions are compared with parameter-free theoretical predictions that are directly constrained by the femtoscopic measurement of the source radius in the same event class. A fair description of the data with a Gaussian wave function is observed for both deuteron and helion, supporting the coalescence mechanism for the production of light (anti)nuclei in pp collisions. This method paves the way for future investigations of the internal structure of more complex nuclear clusters, including the hypertriton.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available January 1, 2023
  2. Abstract The first measurement of the production of pions, kaons, (anti-)protons and $$\phi $$ ϕ mesons at midrapidity in Xe–Xe collisions at $$\sqrt{s_{\mathrm{NN}}} = 5.44~\text {TeV}$$ s NN = 5.44 TeV is presented. Transverse momentum ( $$p_{\mathrm{T}}$$ p T ) spectra and $$p_{\mathrm{T}}$$ p T -integrated yields are extracted in several centrality intervals bridging from p–Pb to mid-central Pb–Pb collisions in terms of final-state multiplicity. The study of Xe–Xe and Pb–Pb collisions allows systems at similar charged-particle multiplicities but with different initial geometrical eccentricities to be investigated. A detailed comparison of the spectral shapes in the two systems reveals an opposite behaviour for radial and elliptic flow. In particular, this study shows that the radial flow does not depend on the colliding system when compared at similar charged-particle multiplicity. In terms of hadron chemistry, the previously observed smooth evolution of particle ratios with multiplicity from small to large collision systems is also found to hold in Xe–Xe. In addition, our results confirm that two remarkable features of particle production at LHC energies are also valid in the collision of medium-sized nuclei: the lower proton-to-pion ratio with respect to the thermal model expectations and the increase of the $$\phi $$ ϕmore »-to-pion ratio with increasing final-state multiplicity.« less