Synthesis of light nuclei in hadronic collisions
Keywords:light (anti)nuclei, (anti)hypernuclei, hypertriton, statistical hadronization model, coalescence, femtoscopy, hadron-hadron 14 interactions
Light-nuclei production yields in heavy-ion collisions are well described in the framework of Statistical Hadronization Models (SHM) but a thorough understanding of the underlying dynamics is still missing. In a complementary approach, synthesis of light nuclei can be modeled in terms of final-state coalescence of nucleons. While yielding an equally good description in central heavy-ion collisions, coalescence predictions are substantially different to those from SHM in small collision systems, in particular for the loosely bound hypertriton. This should allow a firm distinction of the two production scenarios in small collision systems. Comprehensive data on light-nuclei and hypertriton production in pp and p–Pb collisions from the ALICE Collaboration are presented in this contribution. Complementary to the measurement of production yields, the dynamics of nuclear cluster formation can be inferred from the measurement of final-state correlations of nucleons and light nuclei. Preliminary p-d correlation results from high-multiplicity pp collisions at √ 11 s = 13 TeV are compared to calculations based on experimental scattering parameters and discussed in the context of nuclear cluster formation.
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