Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Soft hadronic physics at RHIC
- Author(s): Hardtke, David
- et al.
Although soft hadronic observables do not probe the early stages of a nucleus-nucleus collision directly, the data can be used to constrain the evolutionary path of the system. I review some of the experimental data from the first year of RHIC operations with Au+Au at sqrt(s)=130 GeV. This data includes particle yields, momentum spectra, and two-particle correlations. The data point to a system that develops strong radial flow and expands to roughly twice the size of the initial system before kinetic freeze-out. The data also suggest a multi-stage freeze-out, where the particle abundances are fixed at an earlier time compared to the end of elastic interactions.