Nuclei formation: Thermal models
- Maximilian Korwieser (TUM)
Thermal models are grounded in the principles of statistical mechanics and thermodynamics, applying these concepts to the behavior of particles and their interactions in extreme environments like heavy-ion collisions (HIC). HIC are characterized by high temperatures and energy densities, found in the aftermath of high-energy nuclear collisions. The central idea behind thermal models is that, under certain conditions, the particles produced in these collisions reach a state of approximate thermal equilibrium. In this state, the distribution of particle types and momenta follows well-established statistical patterns.
One of the key aspects of thermal models is their ability to predict particle yields and other observables based on a small set of parameters that describe the system's temperature, volume, and particle species. This simplicity is especially valuable in situations where detailed understanding of the microscopic dynamics is limited due to the complexity of the interactions involved. Thermal models bridge this gap by providing a macroscopic description that encapsulates the collective behavior of particles. The performance of the model is remarkable as the yields of the lightest hadron up to the lightest atomic nuclei are accurately described spanning 9 orders of magnitude.