Exploring Baryon Rich Matter with Heavy-Ion Collisions
Collisions of heavy nuclei at (ultra-)relativistic energies provide a fascinating opportunity to re-create various forms of matter in the laboratory. For a short extent of time (10-22 s), matter under extreme conditions of temperature and density can exist. In dedicated experiments, one explores the microscopic structure of strongly interacting matter and its phase diagram. In heavy-ion reactions at SIS18 collision energies, matter is substantially compressed (2–3 times ground-state density), while moderate temperatures are reached (T < 70 MeV). The conditions closely resemble those that prevail, e.g., in neutron star mergers. Matter under such conditions is currently being studied at the High Acceptance DiElecton Spectrometer (HADES). Important topics of the research program are the mechanisms of strangeness production, the emissivity of matter, and the role of baryonic resonances herein. In this contribution, we will focus on the important experimental results obtained by HADES in Au+Au collisions at 2.4 GeV center-of-mass energy. We will also present perspectives for future experiments with HADES and CBM at SIS100, where higher beam energies and intensities will allow for the studies of the first-order deconfinement phase transition and its critical endpoint.
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