Charged and strange hadron elliptic flow in Cu+Cu collisions at $\sqrt{s_{NN}}$ = 62.4 and 200 GeV

Research paper by The STAR Collaboration, B. I. Abelev

Indexed on: 25 Mar '10Published on: 25 Mar '10Published in: Nuclear Experiment


We present the results of an elliptic flow analysis of Cu+Cu collisions recorded with the STAR detector at 62.4 and 200GeV. Elliptic flow as a function of transverse momentum is reported for different collision centralities for charged hadrons and strangeness containing hadrons $K_{S}^{0}$, $\Lambda$, $\Xi$, $\phi$ in the midrapidity region $|eta|<1.0$. Significant reduction in systematic uncertainty of the measurement due to non-flow effects has been achieved by correlating particles at midrapidity, $|\eta|<1.0$, with those at forward rapidity, $2.5<|\eta|<4.0$. We also present azimuthal correlations in p+p collisions at 200 GeV to help estimating non-flow effects. To study the system-size dependence of elliptic flow, we present a detailed comparison with previously published results from Au+Au collisions at 200 GeV. We observe that $v_{2}$($p_{T}$) of strange hadrons has similar scaling properties as were first observed in Au+Au collisions, i.e.: (i) at low transverse momenta, $p_T<2GeV/c$, $v_{2}$ scales with transverse kinetic energy, $m_{T}-m$, and (ii) at intermediate $p_T$, $2<p_T<4GeV/c$, it scales with the number of constituent quarks, $n_q$. We have found that ideal hydrodynamic calculations fail to reproduce the centrality dependence of $v_{2}$($p_{T}$) for $K_{S}^{0}$ and $\Lambda$. Eccentricity scaled $v_2$ values, $v_{2}/\epsilon$, are larger in more central collisions, suggesting stronger collective flow develops in more central collisions. The comparison with Au+Au collisions which go further in density shows $v_{2}/\epsilon$ depend on the system size, number of participants $N_{part}$. This indicates that the ideal hydrodynamic limit is not reached in Cu+Cu collisions, presumably because the assumption of thermalization is not attained.