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Baryon Number Transfer in Hadron+Nucleus and Nucleus+Nucleus Collisions: A Link between Elementary and Complex Interactions

Abstract

The baryon number transfer is studied in elementary and complex hadronic interactions at the CERN experiment NA49 at the SPS, at 158 AGeV beam energy (\sqrt{s}=17.2 GeV). A two component picture is proposed, which builds up the net proton distribution from a target and a projectile component. Using pion beam, the projectile component is experimentally determined for p+p and p+A interactions. A similar stopping behaviour of the projectile component is found for p+A and A+A interactions. Based on these observations, the baryon transfer is assumed to provide a common scale of inelasticity in p+p, p+A and A+A interactions. A model-independent way is proposed to predict the pion multiplicity in A+A.Comment: 10 pages, 12 figures. To appear in the proceedings of International Workshop on Quark and Hadron Dynamics in Relativistic Heavy Ion Collisions (BP 2002), Budapest, Hungary, 3-7 Mar 200

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