Regular Article - Theoretical Physics
In-medium potential, pion production in heavy-ion collisions and the symmetry energy
National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory, Michigan State University, 48824, East Lansing, MI, USA
2 Department of Theoretical Physics, IFIN-HH, Reactorului 30, 077125, Mǎgurele-Bucharest, Romania
Accepted: 21 October 2021
Published online: 11 November 2021
Using the dcQMD transport model, the isoscalar and isovector in-medium potentials of the (1232) baryon are studied and information regarding their effective strength is obtained from a comparison to experimental pion production data in heavy-ion collisions below 800 MeV/nucleon impact energy. The best description is achieved for an isoscalar potential moderately more attractive than the nucleon optical potential and a rather small isoscalar relative effective mass 0.45. For the isovector component only a constraint between the potential’s strength at saturation and the isovector effective mass difference can be extracted, which depends on quantities such as the slope of the symmetry energy and the neutron-proton effective mass difference. These results are incompatible with the usual assumption, in transport models, that the (1232) and nucleon potentials are equal. The density dependence of symmetry energy can be studied using the high transverse momentum tail of pion multiplicity ratio spectra. Results are however correlated with the value of neutron-proton effective mass difference. This region of spectra is shown to be affected by uncertain model ingredients such as the pion potential or in-medium correction to inelastic scattering cross-sections at levels smaller than 10%. Extraction of precise constraints for the density dependence of symmetry energy above saturation will require experimental data for pion production in heavy-ion collisions below 800 MeV/nucleon impact energy and experimental values for the high transverse momentum tail of pion multiplicity ratio spectra accurate to better than 5%.
© The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Società Italiana di Fisica and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2021