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Measurements of Lambda, Lambda-bar and K-short from Pb-Pb collisions at 158 GeV per nucleon in a large acceptance experiment

Barnby, Lee S. (1999)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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The main reason for studying relativistic heavy-ion collisions is to discover the phase transition from nuclear matter to the Quark-Gluon Plasma. Such a transition is predicted to occur under conditions of high temperature and density. The predicted state features deconfined quarks and gluons as the relevant degrees of freedom instead of colour-singlet hadrons. These new degrees of freedom should lead to an enhanced production of strange quarks which has directly observable consequences on the composition of the final state hadrons detected in such a collision. The NA49 experiment is able to measure hadronic production in central Pb+Pb collisions. It uses a Pb beam, of energy 158 GeV per nucleon, from the CERN SPS with a fixed Pb target. The experiment features four large tracking detectors which can measure the trajectories of charged particles. In this thesis the method of reconstructing neutral strange particles, Lambda, Lambda-bar and K-short from their charged decay products is described. The procedure for correcting the raw yields for losses due to the limited experimental acceptance and efficiency in reconstruction is explained. An estimate of some systematic errors is made. The resulting rapidity distributions, which span either side of mid-rapidity are peaked (with the possible exception of Lambda) and the transverse momentum spectra fit the Hagedorn distribution. The inverse slope parameters, T_Lambda = 274 ± 5 MeV, T_Lambda-bar = 279 ± 10 MeV and T_K = 238 ± 5 MeV are consistent with the picture of transverse flow observed in these collisions. These results are compared with other measurements.

Type of Work:Ph.D. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Nelson, John M.
School/Faculty:Schools (1998 to 2008) > School of Physics & Astronomy
Keywords:relativistic heavy-ion collisions, strangeness, CERN-SPS, NA49
Subjects:QC Physics
Institution:University of Birmingham
Library Catalogue:Check for printed version of this thesis
ID Code:1625
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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