Data on the mean multiplicity of strange hadrons produced in minimum bias proton--proton and central nucleus--nucleus collisions at momenta between 2.8 and 400 GeV/c per nucleon have been compiled. The multiplicities for nucleon--nucleon interactions were constructed. The ratios of strange particle multiplicity to participant nucleon as well as to pion multiplicity are larger for central nucleus--nucleus collisions than for nucleon--nucleon interactions at all studied energies. The data at AGS energies suggest that the latter ratio saturates with increasing masses of the colliding nuclei. The strangeness to pion multiplicity ratio observed in nucleon--nucleon interactions increases with collision energy in the whole energy range studied. A qualitatively different behaviour is observed for central nucleus--nucleus collisions: the ratio rapidly increases when going from Dubna to AGS energies and changes little between AGS and SPS energies. This change in the behaviour can be related to the increase in the entropy production observed in central nucleus-nucleus collisions at the same energy range. The results are interpreted within a statistical approach. They are consistent with the hypothesis that the Quark Gluon Plasma is created at SPS energies, the critical collision energy being between AGS and SPS energies.
Elastic and inelastic 19.8 GeV/c proton-proton collisions in nuclear emulsion are examined using an external proton beam of the CERN Proton Synchrotron. Multiple scattering, blob density, range and angle measurements give the momentum spectra and angular distributions of secondary protons and pions. The partial cross-sections corresponding to inelastic interactions having two, four, six, eight, ten and twelve charged secondaries are found to be, respectively, (16.3±8.4) mb, (11.5 ± 6.0) mb, (4.3 ± 2.5) mb, (1.9 ± 1.3) mb, (0.5 ± 0.5) mb and (0.5±0.5)mb. The elastic cross-section is estimated to be (4.3±2.5) mb. The mean charged meson multiplicity for inelastic events is 3.7±0.5 and the average degree of inelasticity is 0.35±0.09. Strong forward and backward peaking is observed in the center-of-mass system for both secondary charged pions and protons. Distributions of energy, momentum and transverse momentum for identified charged secondaries are presented and compared with the results of work at other energies and with the results of a statistical theory of proton-proton collisions.
Double differential K+cross sections have been measured in p+C collisions at 1.2, 1.5 and 2.5 GeV beam energy and in p+Pb collisions at 1.2 and 1.5 GeV. The K+ spectrum taken at 2.5 GeV can be reproduced quantitatively by a model calculation which takes into account first chance proton-nucleon collisions and internal momentum with energy distribution of nucleons according to the spectral function. At 1.2 and 1.5 GeV beam energy the K+ data excess significantly the model predictions for first chance collisions. When taking secondary processes into account the results of the calculations are in much better agreement with the data.
The differential and total cross sections for kaon pair production in the pp->ppK+K- reaction have been measured at three beam energies of 2.65, 2.70, and 2.83 GeV using the ANKE magnetic spectrometer at the COSY-Juelich accelerator. These near-threshold data are separated into pairs arising from the decay of the phi-meson and the remainder. For the non-phi selection, the ratio of the differential cross sections in terms of the K-p and K+p invariant masses is strongly peaked towards low masses. This effect can be described quantitatively by using a simple ansatz for the K-p final state interaction, where it is seen that the data are sensitive to the magnitude of an effective K-p scattering length. When allowance is made for a small number of phi events where the K- rescatters from the proton, the phi region is equally well described at all three energies. A very similar phenomenon is discovered in the ratio of the cross sections as functions of the K-pp and K+pp invariant masses and the identical final state interaction model is also very successful here. The world data on the energy dependence of the non-phi total cross section is also reproduced, except possibly for the results closest to threshold.