Experimental signals of a nuclear liquid-gas phase transition
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The critical phenomenon of the nuclear liquid-gas phase transition has been investigated in the reactions 64Zn+64Zn, 64Ni+64Ni and 70Zn+70Zn at beam energy of 35 MeV/nucleon. Yields of fragments arising from fragmenting quasi-projectiles (QPs) with different neutron-proton asymmetries were analyzed within the framework of the Landau free energy approach. Fits to the free energy of fragments as a function of fragment asymmetry showed three minima, indicating the system to be in a regime of a first-order phase transition. The QP temperature estimates were extracted from the analysis of N=Z fragment data. Additionally, we make use of a recent method based on quantum fluctuations of fermions to derive temperatures and densities of selected QPs. Critical scaling of these observables is found for systems which differ in neutron to proton asymmetry. The derived critical exponent β = 0.35 ± 0.01, belongs to the liquid-gas universality class.
author list (cited authors)
Mabiala, J., Bonasera, A., Zheng, H., McIntosh, A. B., Kohley, Z., Cammarata, P., ... Yennello, S. J.