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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Global baryon number conservation encoded in net-proton fluctuations measured in Pb–Pb collisions at sNN=2.76 TeV


Experimental results are presented on event-by-event net-proton fluctuation measurements in Pb–Pb collisions at sNN=2.76 TeV, recorded by the ALICE detector at the CERN LHC. These measurements have as their ultimate goal an experimental test of Lattice QCD (LQCD) predictions on second and higher order cumulants of net-baryon distributions to search for critical behavior near the QCD phase boundary. Before confronting them with LQCD predictions, account has to be taken of correlations stemming from baryon number conservation as well as fluctuations of participating nucleons. Both effects influence the experimental measurements and are usually not considered in theoretical calculations. For the first time, it is shown that event-by-event baryon number conservation leads to subtle long-range correlations arising from very early interactions in the collisions.

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