First measurement of the Q spectral function in nuclear collisions

R. Arnaldi, R. Averbeck, K. Banicz, J. Castor, B. Chaurand, C. Cicalo, A. Colla, P. Cortese, S. Damjanovic, A. David, A. De Falco, A. Devaux, A. Drees, L. Ducroux, H. En'Yo, A. Ferretti, M. Floris, A. Foerster, P. Force, N. GuettetA. Guichard, H. Gulkanian, J. Heuser, M. Keil, L. Kluberg, J. Lozano, C. Lourenço, F. Manso, A. Masoni, P. Martins, A. Neves, H. Ohnishi, C. Oppedisano, P. Parracho, P. Pillot, G. Puddu, E. Radermacher, P. Ramalhete, P. Rosinsky, E. Scomparin, J. Seixas, S. Serci, R. Shahoyan, P. Sonderegger, H. J. Specht, R. Tieulent, G. Usai, R. Veenhof, H. K. Wöhri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


The NA60 experiment at the CERN SPS has studied low-mass muon pairs in 158 A∈GeV In-In collisions. A strong excess of pairs is observed above the yield expected from neutral meson decays. The unprecedented sample size close to 400000 events and the good mass resolution of about 2% made it possible to isolate the excess by subtraction of the decay sources. The shape of the resulting mass spectrum shows some non-trivial centrality dependence, but is largely consistent with a dominant contribution from π+π -→ →μ+μ- annihilation. The associated Q spectral function exhibits considerable broadening, but essentially no shift in mass. The pT-differential mass spectra show the excess to be much stronger at low pT than at high pT. The results are compared to theoretical model predictions; they tend to rule out models linking hadron masses directly to the chiral condensate.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)235-241
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Physical Journal C
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2007 Jan
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)


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