Kaon–proton strong interaction at low relative momentum via femtoscopy in Pb–Pb collisions at the LHC
KARASU UYSAL, Ayben
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In quantum scattering processes between two particles, aspects characterizing the strong and Coulomb forces can be observed in kinematic distributions of the particle pairs. The sensitivity to the interaction potential reaches a maximum at low relative momentum and vanishing distance between the two particles. Ultrarelativistic heavy-ion collisions at the LHC provide an abundant source of many hadron species and can be employed as a measurement method of scattering parameters that is complementary to scattering experiments. This study confirms that momentum correlations of particles produced in Pb-Pb collisions at the LHC provide an accurate measurement of kaon-proton scattering parameters at low relative momentum, allowing precise access to the K−p→K−p process. This work also validates the femtoscopic measurement in ultrarelativistic heavy-ion collisions as an alternative to scattering experiments and a complementary tool to the study of exotic atoms with comparable precision. In this work, the first femtoscopic measurement of momentum correlations of K−p (K+p⎯⎯⎯) and K+p(K−p⎯⎯⎯) pairs in Pb-Pb collisions at centre-of-mass energy per nucleon pair of sNN‾‾‾‾√=5.02 TeV registered by the ALICE experiment is reported. The components of the K−p complex scattering length are extracted and found to be ℜf0=−0.91± 0.03(stat)+0.17−0.03(syst) and ℑf0=0.92± 0.05(stat)+0.12−0.33(syst). The results are compared with chiral effective field theory predictions as well as with existing data from dedicated scattering and exotic kaonic atom experiments.
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