A systematic study of the sensitivity of triangular flow to the initial state fluctuations in relativistic heavy-ion collisions
Experimental data from the Relativistic Heavy-Ion Collider suggest that the quark gluon plasma behaves almost like an ideal fluid. Due to its short lifetime, many QGP properties can only be inferred indirectly through a comparison of the final state measurements with transport model calculations. Among the current phenomena of interest are the interdependences between two collective flow phenomena, elliptic and triangular flow. The former is mostly related to the initial geometry and collective expansion of the system whereas the latter is sensitive to the fluctuations of the initial state. For our investigation we use a hybrid transport model based on the ultra-relativistic quantum molecular dynamics (UrQMD) transport approach using an ideal hydrodynamic expansion for the hot and dense stage. Using UrQMD initial conditions for an AuAu collision, particles resulting from a collision are mapped into an energy density distribution that is evolved event-by-event with a hydrodynamic calculation. By averaging these distributions over different numbers of events, we have studied how the granularity/smoothness of the distribution affects the initial eccentricity, the initial triangularity, and the resulting flow components. The average elliptic flow in non-central collisions is not sensitive to the granularity, while triangular flow is. The triangularity might thus provide a good measure of the amount of initial state fluctuations that is necessary to reproduce the experimental data. © 2012 IOP Publishing Ltd.
Petersen, H; Placa, RL; Bass, SA
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