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Open Access Publications from the University of California

A machine learning study on spinodal clumping in heavy ion collisions


Possible observables of baryon number clustering due to the instabilities occurring at a first order QCD phase transition are discussed. The dynamical formation of baryon clusters at a QCD phase transition can be described by numerical fluid dynamics, augmented with a gradient term and an equation of state with a mechanically unstable region. It is shown that the dynamical description of this phase transition, in nuclear collisions, will lead to the formation of dense baryon clusters at the phase boundary. State-of-the-art machine learning methods find that the coordinate space clumping leaves characteristic imprints on the spatial net density distribution in almost every event. On the other hand the momentum distributions do not show any clear event-by-event features. It is shown that the 'third order' cumulant, the skewness, shows a peak at the beam energy where the system, created in the heavy ion collision, reaches the deconfinement phase transition.

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