Charmed hadron production in high-energy nuclear collisions
November 25, 2022
June 15, 2023
We present a new model for the description of heavy-flavor hadronization in high-energy nuclear (and possibly hadronic) collisions, where the process takes place not in the vacuum, but in the presence of other color charges.
We explore its effect on the charmed hadron yields and kinematic distributions once the model is applied at the end of transport calculations used to simulate the propagation of heavy quarks in the deconfined fireball produced in nuclear collisions. The model is based on the formation of color-singlet clusters through the recombination of charm quarks with light antiquarks or diquarks from the same fluid cell. This local mechanism of color neutralization leads to a strong space-momentum correlation, which provides a substantial enhancement of charmed baryon production -- with respect to expectations based on $e^+e^-$ collisions -- and of the collective flow of all charmed hadrons. We also discuss the similarities between our model and recently developed mechanisms implemented in QCD event generators to simulate medium corrections to hadronization in the presence of other nearby color charges.
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