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      Strange hadron production in heavy ion collisions from SPS to RHIC

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          Abstract

          Strange particles have been a very important observable in the search for a deconfined state of strongly interacting matter, the quark-gluon plasma (QGP), which is expected to be formed in ultra-relativistic heavy ion collisions. We review the main experimental observations made at the Super Proton Synchrotron (SPS) at CERN, Geneva, and at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) at Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL). The large amount of recently collected data allows for a comprehensive study of strangeness production as a function of energy and system size. We review results on yields, transverse mass and rapidity spectra, as well as elliptic flow. The measurements are interpreted in the context of various theoretical concepts and their implications are discussed. Of particular interest is the question whether strange particles are in any way sensitive to a partonic phase. Finally, a compilation of experimental data is provided.

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          Review of Particle Physics

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            \(J/\psi\) and \(\eta_c\) in the Deconfined Plasma from Lattice QCD

            Analyzing correlation functions of charmonia at finite temperature (\(T\)) on \(32^3\times(32-96)\) anisotropic lattices by the maximum entropy method (MEM), we find that \(J/\psi\) and \(\eta_c\) survive as distinct resonances in the plasma even up to \(T \simeq 1.6 T_c\) and that they eventually dissociate between \(1.6 T_c\) and \(1.9 T_c\) (\(T_c\) is the critical temperature of deconfinement). This suggests that the deconfined plasma is non-perturbative enough to hold heavy-quark bound states. The importance of having sufficient number of temporal data points in MEM analyses is also emphasized.
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              Universality, the QCD critical/tricritical point and the quark number susceptibility

              The quark number susceptibility near the QCD critical end-point (CEP), the tricritical point (TCP) and the O(4) critical line at finite temperature and quark chemical potential is investigated. Based on the universality argument and numerical model calculations we propose a possibility that the hidden tricritical point strongly affects the critical phenomena around the critical end-point. We made a semi-quantitative study of the quark number susceptibility near CEP/TCP for several quark masses on the basis of the Cornwall-Jackiw-Tomboulis (CJT) potential for QCD in the improved-ladder approximation. The results show that the susceptibility is enhanced in a wide region around CEP inside which the critical exponent gradually changes from that of CEP to that of TCP, indicating a crossover of different universality classes.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                13 May 2011
                2011-08-18
                Article
                10.1016/j.ppnp.2011.05.001
                1105.2798
                b584ca91-761f-49dd-b2a9-c580619cf3e0

                http://arxiv.org/licenses/nonexclusive-distrib/1.0/

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                73 pages, 39 figures, Review article for "Prog. Part. Nucl. Phys." (Elsevier) http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ppnp.2011.05.001
                nucl-ex hep-ex nucl-th

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