A systematic analysis of multifragmentation (MF) in fully reconstructed events from 1A GeV Au, La, and Kr collisions with C has been performed. These data are used to provide a definitive test of the variable volume version of the statistical multifragmentation model (SMM). A single set of SMM parameters directly determined by the data and the semi-empirical mass formula are used after the adjustable inverse level density parameter ∈0 is determined by the fragment distributions. The results from SMM for second stage multiplicity, size of the biggest fragment, and the intermediate mass fragments are in excellent agreement with the data. Multifragmentation thresholds have been obtained for all three systems using SMM prior to secondary decay. The data indicate that both thermal excitation energy E*th and the isotope ratio temperature THe-DT decrease with increase in system size at the critical point. The breakup temperature obtained from SMM also shows the same trend as seen in the data. The SMM model is used to study the nature of the MF phase transition. The caloric curve for Kr exhibits back-bending (finite latent heat) while the caloric curves for Au and La are consistent with a continuous phase transition (nearly zero latent heat) and the values of the critical exponents τ, β, and γ, both from data and SMM, are close to those for a "liquid-gas" system for Au and La. We conclude that the larger Coulomb expansion energy in Au and La reduces the latent heat required for MF and changes the nature of the phase transition. Thus the Coulomb energy plays a major role in nuclear MF.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Nuclear and High Energy Physics