${\rm f}_{0}(980)$ production in inelastic pp collisions at $\sqrt{s} = 5.02$ TeV

The ALICE collaboration
Phys.Lett.B 846 (2023) 137644, 2023.

Abstract (data abstract)
CERN-LHC. The measurement of the production of $\rm{f}_{0}(980)$ in inelastic pp collisions at $\sqrt{s}$ = 5.02 TeV is presented. This is the first reported measurement of inclusive $\rm{f}_{0}(980)$ yield at LHC energies. The production is measured at midrapidity, $\left | y \right | < 0.5$, in a wide transverse momentum range, $0<p_{\rm{T}}<16$ GeV/$c$, by reconstructing the resonance in the $\rm{f}_{0}(980) \rightarrow\pi^{+}\pi^{-}$ hadronic decay channel using the ALICE detector. The $p_{\rm{T}}$-differential yields are compared to those of pions, protons and $\phi$ mesons as well as to predictions from the HERWIG~7.2 QCD-inspired Monte Carlo event generator and calculations from a coalescence model that uses the AMPT model as an input. The ratio of the $p_{\rm{T}}$-integrated yield of $\rm{f}_{0}(980)$ relative to pions is compared to measurements in $\mathrm{e}^{+}\mathrm{e}^{-}$ and pp collisions at lower energies and predictions from statistical hadronisation models and HERWIG~7.2. A mild collision energy dependence of the $\rm{f}_{0}(980)$ to pion production is observed in pp collisions from SPS to LHC energies. All considered models underpredict the $p_{\rm{T}}$-integrated 2$\rm{f}_{0}(980)/(\pi^{+}+\pi^{-})$ ratio. The prediction from the canonical statistical hadronisation model assuming a zero total strangeness content of $\rm{f}_{0}(980)$ is consistent with the data within 1.9$\sigma$ and is the closest to the data. The results provide an essential reference for future measurements of the particle yield and nuclear modification in p-Pb and Pb-Pb collisions, which have been proposed to be instrumental to probe the elusive nature and quark composition of the $\rm{f}_{0}(980)$ scalar meson.

  • Table 1


    $p_{\rm T}$-differential yields of $f_{0}(980)$ at midrapidity in the inelastic pp collisions at $\sqrt(s)$ = 5.02 TeV. The uncertainty 'syst'...

  • Table 2


    $p_{\rm T}$-integrated yield of $f_{0}(980)$, dN/dy at midrapidity as a function of $\langle {\rm d}N_{\rm ch}/{\rm d}\eta \rangle$. The uncertainty...

  • Table 3


    mean-$p_{\rm{T}}$ of $f_{0}(980)$, (<$p_{\rm{T}}$>) at midrapidity as a function of $\langle {\rm d}N_{\rm ch}/{\rm d}\eta \rangle$. The uncertainty 'syst' indicates...

  • Table 4


    $f_{0}(980)$ to pions ($(\pi^{+}+\pi^{-})/2$), $p_{\rm T}$-integrated yield ratio at midrapidity as a function of $\langle {\rm d}N_{\rm ch}/{\rm d}\eta \rangle$....

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