Experimental Evidence for an Attractive p-φ Interaction

(ALICE Collaboration)

Abstract

This Letter presents the first experimental evidence of the attractive strong interaction between a proton and a φ meson. The result is obtained from two-particle correlations of combined p-φ p¯-φ pairs measured in high-multiplicity pp collisions at s=13 TeV by the ALICE Collaboration. The spin-averaged scattering length and effective range of the p-φ interaction are extracted from the fully corrected correlation function employing the Lednický-Lyuboshits approach. In particular, the imaginary part of the scattering length vanishes within uncertainties, indicating that inelastic processes do not play a prominent role for the p-φ interaction. These data demonstrate that the interaction is dominated by elastic p-φ scattering. Furthermore, an analysis employing phenomenological Gaussian- and Yukawa-type potentials is conducted. Under the assumption of the latter, the N-φ coupling constant is found to be gN-φ=0.14±0.03(stat)±0.02(syst). This work provides valuable experimental input to accomplish a self-consistent description of the N-φ interaction, which is particularly relevant for the more fundamental studies on partial restoration of chiral symmetry in nuclear medium.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number172301
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Volume127
Issue number17
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 22 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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