Experimental Evidence for an Attractive p-φ Interaction
KARASU UYSAL, Ayben
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This Letter presents the first experimental evidence of the attractive strong interaction between a proton and a ϕ meson. The result is obtained from two-particle correlations of combined p-ϕ⊕p⎯⎯⎯-ϕ pairs measured in high-multiplicity pp collisions at s√ = 13 TeV by the ALICE collaboration. The spin-averaged scattering length and effective range of the p-ϕ interaction are extracted from the fully corrected correlation function employing the Lednický-Lyuboshits approach. In particular, the imaginary part of the scattering length vanishes within uncertainties, indicating that inelastic processes do not play a prominent role for the p-ϕ interaction. These data demonstrate that the interaction is dominated by elastic p-ϕ scattering. Furthermore, an analysis employing phenomenological Gaussian- and Yukawa-type potentials is conducted. Under the assumption of the latter, the N-ϕ coupling constant is found to be gN−ϕ=0.14±0.03(stat.)±0.02(syst.). This work provides valuable experimental input to accomplish a self-consistent description of the N-ϕ interaction, which is particularly relevant for the more fundamental studies on partial restoration of chiral symmetry in nuclear medium.
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