Description: Single-particle inclusive experiments, and experiments that additionally measure a few correlations like the associated multiplicity, have provided the main contribution to our present understanding of high-energy heavy-ion collisions. The results from those experiments are in overall agreement with calculations of the cascade and hydrodynamical models. In the cascade model the collision of two nuclei is simulated as a cascade of nucleon-nucleon collisions using measured N-N cross sections. The hydrodynamical model, on the other hand, describes the nuclear collision as that of two fluids and makes use of a nuclear equation of state relating thermal and compressional energy densities to pressure. The pressure field dominates the expansion phase and leads to collective flow of the reaction products in a preferred direction. The observation of such effects in inclusive experiments is not well established. Collective effects that manifest themselves in the shape of the event in phase space are expected to be seen best in complete event detectors that measure the final state as exclusively as presently possible by measuring most of the charged particles emitted in the reaction. In addition, those detectors are well suited to test macroscopic concepts such as equilibrium and temperature. Global methods like the sphericity or thrust analysis take into account all the correlations measured in the event and are specially designed to determine the shape of an event in phase space and thus to define a reaction plane. Recent data from the Plastic Ball experiment about the study of nuclear stopping and thermalization and on global analysis are presented.
Date: August 1, 1983
Creator: Ritter, H.G.; Gustafsson, H.A. & Gutbrod, H.H.
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